Dedicated ‘Trash Team’ Tackles Palisades Library’s

Laura Schneider, Marge Gold, Nina Kidd and Grant Overy, of the Palisades Pitstop, all worked to get the trash can by the library emptied and cleaned.

Overflowing Outdoor Trash Can; Has Future Plans

Students from Village School and Seven Arrows walk past the Palisades Library every day to play at the park. Corpus Christi Elementary kids often pass by the library to go to school. And residents headed for the park pass the library, at the corner of Alma Real and Toyopa.

Everybody passes the always overflowing cement trash can. No matter the week or the month, the can is full, especially since November 2018.

“The level seemed to be fluctuating,” said Friends of the Library board member Nina Kidd said, “but it was never emptied.”

Finally, Kidd and Friends President Laura Schneider decided to ask if this was the library’s responsibility.

It is not—it’s on the street next to the parking meters.

So Kidd called the Department of Sanitation and asked if they could pick up the trash. She was told that trash can is not on their list, although the one a block away in front of the post office is. [The post office trash can is actually emptied by Chrysalis, which is paid by the Business Improvement District to clean out various trash cans within the District boundaries.]

“I wanted to do something because of the library ambience,” Kidd said. “I didn’t want this ugliness.”

On August 29, she and Schneider decided to empty the trash themselves. In the process, their good deed turned into kind of an archeological dig.

The plastic trash can was so firmly wedged inside the concrete trash structure, they had trouble getting it out. Once they did, the trash weighed almost 100 pounds.

Schneider said, “The bottom was compacted, and it had started composting and liquifying.” The smell was intense, fortified by dog poop.

They cleaned out the trash can the best they could, filling numerous garbage bags, and put the can back in the concrete structure with a fresh plastic garbage bag.

Kidd and Schneider have emptied the can twice since then.

Resident Bob Gold helped Overy Grant pry the plastic garbage can out of the cement holder.

On September 5, they got support from resident Marge Gold and Grant Overy of the nearby Pitstop Trash Bin Cleaning Service. Overy, the nephew of owners Kevin and Lindsey Miller, pulled up with his truck in the library parking lot.

Schneider had purchased a new plastic bin, which was good, because once Overy looked at the old bin, he declared it was too “gross” and too “far gone” to even clean.

Overy then focused on the concrete container, which looked like it had not been cleaned in a long time. He pressure washed the concrete, sucked out the water, and wiped out the remaining garbage so it could be disposed of properly. There were oohs and ahhs when Schneider, Kidd and Gold looked inside.

Overy, who works for Pitstop, a car detailing business that also cleans residential garbage cans, did the library job for free – and offered to help the Friends of the Library whenever they need it. “If it needs cleaning again, I’ll come back,” he said.

The interior of this can was so bad, it had to be replaced.

Kidd summed it up, “We’ve taken care of the short term, now we need to figure out a long-term solution.”

The interior of the cement can had not been cleaned in decades.

To keep the area neat and because of the heavy foot traffic on Alma Real, this trash can will most likely need to be emptied twice a week.

Unfortunately, the trash can in front of the library is not part of the BID. The BID boundary ends at the 881 Alma Real building, about 50 feet from the can.

Kidd will again call the Department of Sanitation to see what can be done. Gold told Schneider and Kidd that the Chrysalis workers, who come twice a week for BID, might be able to add one trash can to their route. It would have to be paid for separately. Or maybe P.R.I.D.E. would consider this site, too.

In the meantime, when you walk by the bin, notice the pleasant smell: Palisades Pitstop also deodorized the can.

Grant Overy from the Palisades Pitstop, power washed the interior of the trash barrel.

(Editor’s note: This trash can was another casualty once the Chamber of Commerce no longer supported trash pickup.

In 2017, the Chamber of Commerce, under Arnie Wishnick, sent out his annual letter asking residents if they’d like to donate to pay for trash pickup. The money was put in an account and used to pay Chrysalis.

 Wishnick was replaced by Bob Benton and advised by Rick Lemmo (Caruso’s senior VP) that the Chamber “was not in the trash business” the money collected for trash was turned over to the Business Improvement District.

Unfortunately, the Village Green is not part of the BID, nor is the trash can in front of the library. The BID boundary ends at the 881 Alma Real Building.

The Marquez Business District and the area around Palisades High School were also previously covered through the Chamber cleanup but are also not part of the BID area. Palisades P.R.I.D.E. is taking care of the Marquez Business area.

Marge Gold, who serves on the Palisades Village Green board, said that the nonprofit park/board hired a gardener to empty trash cans three times a week and once Caruso’s Village opened, they had to hire an additional person to empty trash a fourth time, on Sunday.)


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9 Responses to Dedicated ‘Trash Team’ Tackles Palisades Library’s

  1. M says:

    GOOD JOB! Another community ‘effort’ pays off……..thanks to everyone for pulling together and getting the job done…..

  2. Rosalie says:

    A feel-good trash story — at least for the trash can in front of the library! Thank you to those who took it upon themselves to do something about this mess!

  3. Judy Hatchett says:

    Thanks to all involved!This is true community spirit!
    Judy Hatchett

  4. Barbara Marinacci says:

    An amazing and disturbing story. As I’ve passed by (usually as a library user), I’ve inevitably wondered why that sidewalk-located trashcan in a highly traveled area almost always has awful overflowing contents. Those determined and dedicated Palisadians who investigated and then bravely DID something are true heroes. (Ample trash getting deposited in the Village Green by visitors is a similar issue.)

    So now … What? This community needs at least 1,000 more people like them to deal determinedly with plenty of other environmental problems, including both health hazards and eyesores. And certainly the internal and external politics and economics of the Chamber of Commerce, BID, and Caruso’s Village should be scrutinized. Those in the City of LA’s Dept. of Public Works’ Bureaus of Sanitation and Street Services as well.

  5. R Weber says:

    Kudos to all that cleaned this mess!

    But how is a concrete trash bin on a City sidewalk NOT the responsibility of the Department of Sanitation? Who placed the bin there?

  6. Nina Kidd says:

    Thank you, Sue. We are still pursuing a long-term solution, but it’s been an education already.
    Circling the News is a force for good in Pacific Palisades, and you set an example of good reporting, and editorial — and not confusing the two.
    To our neighbors: Do consider subscribing to help support CTN, a valuable community service!

  7. Sue says:


    No one seems to know who placed the concrete bins and when. There are two addition bins–one is in front of the Post Office and another is by CVS.
    If any readers know the history, I’d love if you could share it with us.


  8. Lou says:

    Nobody likes to take out the trash. What these neighbors did and continue to do defines our town. Let me know when the next one comes up.

  9. Dick Littlestone says:

    Until recently there have long been two of those concrete trash containers side by side at the Library. Despicable that Lemmo says that “the Chamber is not in the trash business.” With Arnie, the Chamber was forever in the Community business! and open every weekday. Now the Chamber Office is open only 4 days a week!

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