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Glendale spends about $1.4 million each year to clean waterways

Glendale is sixth among comparable cities in efforts to curb aquatic debris.

August 31, 2013|By Brittany Levine, brittany.levine@latimes.com
  • Glendale spends about $1.4 million to reduce litter and prevent it from reaching the waterways.
Glendale spends about $1.4 million to reduce litter and… (Courtesy of the…)

Glendale is roughly 20 miles from the ocean, but the city spends about $1.4 million a year to reduce litter that could pollute local waterways, according to a report issued by an environmental advocacy group this week.

That makes Glendale the sixth-highest spender among 21 large communities with populations of 75,000 to 249,999 people, according to a report by the Natural Resources Defense Council,, which analyzed 95 cities that represent more than one-third of the population statewide. 

The cities in the analysis ranged in size from 700 residents to nearly 4 million.

About 85% of Glendale's spending covers street-sweeping costs of nearly $1.2 million, with the remainder of the $1.4 million divided among storm-drain cleaning and maintenance, manual cleaning, public education and stormwater capture devices, the report states.

Although cities such as Glendale mostly do street-sweeping to reduce blight, it also impacts litter in waterways, said Serena Ingre, a council spokeswoman.

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“There are many reasons to do street sweeping, and we are not only concerned about the waste that gets into the storm drain. Litter on city streets is a blight, nuisance and potentially a public health concern,” she said.

Glendale may be far from the ocean, but in California, waste management is mostly delegated to local governments so land-locked communities also have to spend money to reduce aquatic debris, according to the report. 

Most aquatic debris comes from land-based sources, the report states.

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