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Fire Highlights 989 Tons of Trash Collected in Long Beach After Storms

Months’ worth of trash has been piling up on the beaches of Long Beach. A few days ago, someone set it on fire.

Some neighbors say that fire was bound to happen. The piles are just about everywhere on the 5 miles of beaches in Long Beach. Todd Leland, the city’s acting Marine Bureau manager, said the atmospheric rivers that dumped tons of water inland cleared out drains, creeks and the LA and San Gabriel rivers, causing 989 tons of trash to wind up along the Long Beach shore in just the month of March.

That 989 tons represents nine times the city’s normal amount, Leland said.

“These last three months of unprecedented rain has brought just an unbelievable amount of tonnage of debris, trash and plastics,” Leland said. 

The city, which is working to haul away the trash, said the high levels of rubbish can be blamed on the rain and all the trash residents put into drains and throw onto the street, which winds up on the beaches.

Residents say the trash is disturbing and some even say that they have seen dead chickens end up on the Long Beach shores. 

Neighbors have been complaining for weeks. One neighbor posted a video online showing how high the piles were when she spotted them in March. 

A few days ago, a person lit a pile on fire and was later arrested. “Any fire danger was immediately extinguished and the individual was detained,” Leland said, adding that no one was hurt.

“It’s so crazy to see these on the ocean,” said James Kabalan. The jogger said it’s shocking to sight to see all the trash pushed down the river and right on to the beaches.

One resident said everyone needs to be responsible about all the trash they put out there, especially all the trash they throw in the streets because it can end up on the shore. 

Leland said that city workers are hustling around the clock to clean up the trash now that it’s finally dried out and ready to be hauled away. 

“We started about two months ago with over 30 debris piles. We’re down to just about ten debris piles,” he said.

The city hopes to get the debris piles pushed out by the end of the month and have the beach back to normal by the begging of summer. 

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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