The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery Monday announced grants totaling more than $800,000 to help the cities of Los Angeles and Norwalk clean up illegally dumped materials, including abandoned furniture, tires and shopping carts.

“In addition to the obvious public health and economic impacts, illegal dumping degrades the quality of life in affected communities,” CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline said. “Every Californian deserves a safe and healthy environment in which to work, live, and play. These cleanup projects help bring California closer to that ideal.”

A $500,000 grant will support a focused program to remove illegally dumped material in designated neighborhoods in South Los Angeles and North Central Los Angeles. The waste sweeps are accompanied by public outreach efforts through local schools, community events and beautification projects, according to CalRecycle.

The City of Norwalk was awarded $336,413 to support cleanups of illegally dumped waste associated with homeless encampments at two city parks and the recreational area/bike trail along the San Gabriel Riverbed. The cleanups will be followed by increased code enforcement and other illegal dumping prevention efforts.

A third grant was awarded to the City of Oakland, which will use the $163,587 in funding to support the development of a “Rapid Response Crew” to clear illegal dumping on city owned and managed properties in economically disadvantaged communities. Funds will also go toward the expansion of that city’s bulky item pickup program for multi-family dwellings.

CalRecycle’s Illegal Disposal Site Abatement Grant Program reimburses local agencies up to $500,000 for the abatement of illegal disposal sites that pose a threat to public health and the environment. The three awards in this grant cycle went to projects that help restore neighborhoods identified as being disproportionately burdened by, and vulnerable to, multiple sources of pollution.

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