While the inspection duties are carried out, the employees hired by the city on a part-time basis have been given the authority to issue citation to the businesses, prompting a fierce controversy.
L.A.’s Department of Public Works (DPW) has been undergoing its RecycLA campaign since July. The purpose of the campaign is to revamp how trash is being thrown away by businesses. The DPW has divided the city into 11 regions and has consulted a company to collect the waste from each of the areas.
The controversy stemmed from this very process as the company hired by the city is now accused of having excessive authority.
In other words, the employees of that company is issuing tickets to business, instead of public workers.
Business owners in Downtown L.A.’s San Pedro Street said that the City of L.A. Bureau of Street Services is issuing tickets with fines of $300 to business who has violated the law.
“Many of the businesses around us were given tickets for simply leaving some boxes in front of their stores,” said Chang-hwan Choi, who is running a flower shop in downtown. “There is no proof that the boxes were theirs, but the tickets were issued regardless. One of the employees at the business were asked about his immigration status for no apparent reason.”
Another business owner, only identified by his last name Kim, said: “The inspector suddenly came in and asked why the trash on the street wasn’t removed. He then issued a ticket. I asked where he came from, but he simply replied that he doesn’t have to answer my question. I first thought it was a fraud.”
In fact, the tickets are causing confusion among the business owners.
Although the ticket was issued by the city of L.A., those who received it are being asked to send the fine to the Citation Processing Center in Newport Beach.
The ticket also states that a failure to pay the fine could result in ▶report to California Franchise Tax Board ▶loss of assets ▶other legal actions against the business. Some business owners have since accused the tickets as a fraud scheme.
The Korea Daily contacted the Bureau of Street Services (BSS) for clarification.
“The city has hired a company to inspect how the waste is being disposed on the streets of L.A.,” said Genesis Godoy of the BSS. “No other city employees other than immigration department officers have the right to ask about someone’s immigration status. We’re going to consult the police department to look into this matter even further.”
DPW’s Alena Stern said: “It’s possible that the fines for the ticket could be sent to an address outside of L.A. The business owners also have to understand that they have the obligation to keep the area around their stores as clean as possible. When asked to clean up the area, the businesses have the obligation to follow suit.”
Currently, the city of L.A. has selected seven companies to carry out its duties stemming from the current campaign. Until recently, the BBS only collected disposals from single homes or apartments with four units or less. Under the new law, however, the system has been revamped to increase the number of recyclable waste.
Meanwhile, the companies selected by the city are ▶Athens (West L.A.•North Central•Harbor) ▶Calmet (Eastern downtown) ▶NASA (Downtown) ▶Republic (Northeastern valley •South L.A.) ▶UWS(Northeastern L.A.) ▶WARE (Southeastern L.A.) ▶Waste Management (Valley).
▶Inquiry: (800) 773-2489