Police and city officials are cracking down on illegal dumping in the area of Los Angeles patrolled by the Los Angeles Police Department's Newton Division.
Although statistics by neighborhoods are not kept, officials estimate that illegal dumping has more than doubled citywide since 1990. Cleanup costs run about $2.5 million a year.
The problem is particularly vexing in the Newton area, said Capt. Jim Tatreau, the division's commander. He hopes to use a special task force at least once a week to patrol dumping hot spots such as industrial and commercial areas.
In its first deployment Tuesday, the task force arrested three men on misdemeanor charges of dumping tires in the 7000 block of Stanford Avenue. They face a maximum of six months in jail and a $500 fine.
Unlawful tire disposal is among the area's most widespread dumping problems. To halt it, Los Angeles Councilwoman Rita Walters recently asked city lobbyists in Sacramento to seek state-mandated recycling deposits on new tires.