Illegal Dumping on Temescal Costs Taxpayers

This truck and trailer pulled up over the sidewalk on Temescal Canyon road to unload the entire contests of the trailer onto park property. (The sign that prohibits dumping can be seen on the right.)

Illegal dumping of wood and other items on Temescal Canyon Road just below the “continuation” high school at Palisades High School continues to cost the City (and taxpayers) money to have items removed.

The Temescal sidewalk, just below the “continuation” high school and below Palisades High School stadium, was posted in 2017.

Signs state: Palisades L.A. Municipal Code (Ord. No. 77,000, Sec. 66.25) will be enforced: No person shall deposit any non-combustible rubbish or any refuse of any kind whatsoever upon or in any street, sidewalk, parkway or upon any lot or private premises (including wood). The penalty is a $1,000 fine or six months in jail or both.

The signs have been ignored.

At the Palisades Community Council meeting on April 13, Area 4 Representative Karen Ridley (Asilomar Bluffs) and Palisades Forestry Committee Chair Cindy Kirven both expressed dismay about the amount of wood that had been dumped at that location at the beginning of April.

Ridgley reported that “the City cleared 17.36 tons of stumps last week.”

She said the dumped items block the sidewalks, so that “students walking to school, have to walk out in the street.”

And it’s not only students who are forced off the sidewalks, pedestrians (and pedestrians walking dogs) who use that pathway to access Will Rogers Beach, are also forced out into the road.

Kirven was able to get license plate numbers of some of the people illegally dumping and gave those numbers to Senior Lead Officer Brian Espin and to Councilmember Traci Park’s field deputy Michael Amster on April 10.

“There were so many different trucks dumping along there on Saturday [April 8], it was mind blowing,” Kirven said. “It is so disheartening. I hope there is some way they can be identified and fined to cover the City’s costs of cleanup.”

She captured a white pickup truck (license 26800W2) that pulled the big black dumpster that has the ATS green logo on the side. Another captured license plate was California # ANB8364.

The two men unloaded the wood onto Temescal sidewalk.

In the past, some Palisades residents have argued that the dumped wood provides a service because residents can burn the wood in fireplaces. But, 17 tons of wood seems excessive and many of the stumps being dropped off are too large to be used in a home fireplace.

The South Coast Air Quality Management District limits burning from November 1 through February 28, has no burn days, to limit air pollution.

Wood smoke has toxins that can include volatile organic compounds (VOCs), PM10, PM2.5, and even carbon monoxide (CO). Particles in wood smoke can be 1/70th the width of a human hair—small enough to get past your body’s usual defenses in the throat and nose.

Another reason not to bring the wood to your house/yard is the trees dumped could contain disease or an insect, such as the polyphagous shot hole borer (PSHB), a type of ambrosia beetle that has killing trees in large numbers.

In a 2017 interview, (“Beetle Could Destroy Many Tree Species”), Akif Eskalen, a plant pathologist said, “The beetle can produce thousands and thousands of beetles in one infected plant. Infested plants must be removed properly, or they will infect nearby plants. We don’t want that beetle to move from one location to another location.”

At the Community Council meeting, many felt that it was up to homeowners, who have hired tree trimmers and yard workers, to ask them where the stumps and branches will be disposed.

Today, April 24, there was newly dumped wood on Temescal. If anyone has license plates or knows who is responsible, please reach out to Espin (email: 37430@lapd.online) and Amster (email: Michael.amster@lacity.org).

The wood piled on the sidewalk make it inaccessible to pedestrians.

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2 Responses to Illegal Dumping on Temescal Costs Taxpayers

  1. Jennifer says:

    This has been going on for years—I took photos and called out one guy dumping a huge amount of wood from his tree trimming company all over the sidewalk. He told me no one ever enforces the “no dumping” law so why would he bother paying to properly dispose of wood when he can dump it for free? For a while people were also dumping sofas, mattresses, you name it. I sent photos to Bonin’s field deputy, who never responded. I stopped walking my children in their stroller that way because you have to veer off the sidewalk to make way for the junk. Yet another enforcement issue. If LAPD cited them a few times, this would end.
    Wood and debris piled up like that must also be a fire hazard, in a Very High Fire Severity zone, no less.

  2. Donna S. says:

    Thank you for covering this story. I continually report the license plates but nothing seems to be done about it.
    Large signs with costly penalties need to be installed along many poles, along Temescal.

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