Venice Human Waste Dumping Project Needs Volunteers

| by Denise A Justin

Councilman Bill Rosendahl to Form Human-Waste Working Group


Looking for a volunteer opportunity in Los Angeles? On August 26, West L.A-area Councilman Bill Rosendahl’s office issued an announcement to Venice Beach residents, entitled: “ROSENDAHL TO FORM WORKING GROUP TO COMBAT DUMPING OF HUMAN WASTE.”

This was in  response to wide media attention generated by a frustrated resident  who recorded  several RV dwellers on her cell phone as they emptied sewage from the holding tanks of their vehicles directly onto Venice Beach streets. 

According  to  the Yo! Venice! community blog post of the announcement,“The dumping of human waste onto our streets is reprehensible and should never happen,” Rosendahl said. “But if it does, it must be cleaned up immediately. It should take one call to any agency to get action.” http://www.yovenice.com/2010/08/26/bill-rosendahl-to-make-human-waste-group/

Sounds like a pretty quick call to action.

However, in numerous television and radio interviews, Venice residents stated this problem has been going on for several years with little response from the Council office or City services. In the meantime, more than 200 RV’s, vans, and pickup trucks with trailers have become permanent dwellings and have taken over Rose Avenue (there must be some irony in that name). 

When an RV occupant decided to dump the unpleasant contents of a 100-gallon holding tank  in front of her house, one  resident ran out of patience and reportedly made a citizen’s arrest.  KFI Radio News was contacted and reported getting quick response from Public Works which started cleanup, and LAPD, which took the offending female RV owner into custody. 

Unfortunately,  two days later, media reports stated that the dumping was continuing and cleanup had stopped.  http://www.ktla.com/videobeta/307c0cb9-c080-4031-af69-49ee91294a94/News/KTLA-More-Human-Waste-Dumping-in-Venice-Causes-Stink-Chip-Yost-reports

On August 30, Venice Beach residents rallied at a “Don’t Dump on Venice” press conference to try to get the City to enforce existing laws which forbid sleeping in any vehicle on city streets.  According to Yo! Venice!, “At issue is the fact that Venice has become a mecca for RV Dwellers that choose to "live off the grid" (known as boondocking), willingly choosing a lifestyle that endangers Venice residents safety and health.” http://www.yovenice.com/2010/08/30/venice-residents-demand-city-enforce-existing-laws-on-rv-boondocking/#more-7314

On August 31, Councilman Bill Rosendahl responded that he supports efforts by the LAPD to enforce the municipal code section which prohibits living in a vehicle on city streets.  http://www.yovenice.com/2010/08/31/rosendahl-supports-lapd-enforcement-of-lamc-85-02/

We’ll all be watching Yo! Venice! for progress reports.


By the way, that proposed human-waste working group will include Rosendahl’s office, Public Works and other sanitation officials, Los Angeles County Health  Dept., Los Angeles City  Police and Fire Departments, plus the office of City Attorney Carmen Trutanich and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. There still may be time to apply!