Guidance on Trash and Debris Removal

As Malibu residents begin returning to areas impacted by the Woolsey Fire, Los Angeles County has provided guidance on how to remove ordinary household waste, as well as ash and debris, from properties within the fire burn area.

Residents are prohibited from removing fire-related debris until it is inspected.

“Ash and debris that remains from a structure that was destroyed in the wildfires contain hazardous waste and materials that can threaten public health,” information provided by the county stated. “Therefore, the Los Angeles County Public Health Officer declared a Local Health Emergency on Nov. 12, 2018 which prohibits the removal of fire debris until an inspection of the debris is conducted by either state, federal, or local hazardous materials agencies.”

Debris bins may not be delivered to affected areas without LA County Fire Department approval. Owners who opt out of the county-sponsored program must register for approval from the county, “and must conduct their private debris removal, transport, and disposal in a manner that does not endanger the community.”

Information on that process was still forthcoming by Saturday, Nov. 17.

Residents may place their trash bins out for collection on their ordinary pick-up days. For the next “few weeks,” according to information from the county, residents may fill up to five excess trash bags for pick up on each designated pick-up day. Spoiled food is included in this ordinary trash pickup; guidelines for how to tell if food is spoiled are provided at the bottom of the page.

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Due to the heat of the fire, some trash carts have melted. Damaged or destroyed carts should be reported for replacement.

When it comes to hazardous waste, residents can bring items and containers to 23519 W. Civic Center Way on Dec. 1, between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. or to one of the permanent collection centers. Contact CleanLA.com or call 888.Clean.LA (888.253.2652) for more locations.

For excess waste: “Three times per year, you may call in to arrange the pickup of 10 bulky

items, 10 bundles of green waste, and/or five bags of excess waste. Bulky items include construction and demolition debris of up to two 70-pound bundles, not exceeding four feet in length,” the county stipulated. Those ordinary stipulations have not been lifted.

The LA County Department of Public Health recommends the following:

– If a power outage lasts several hours, it is best to throw away perishable food items such as meat, dairy products and eggs.

– Items that have thawed in the freezer should be thrown away. Do not re-freeze thawed food. All other food items should be inspected to ensure safety. Remember, “if in doubt, throw it out.”

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