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It’s looking like the risk of fines and jail time isn’t enough.
Los Angeles officials fed up with locals tossing their unwanted masks and gloves on the ground during the coronavirus outbreak are asking the city’s Bureau of Sanitation and Attorney’s Office to find new ways to crack down on offenders, ranging from increased penalties to expanded enforcement, a report says.
"This littering is not only disrespectful of others, it is dangerous to others, especially the workers who end up cleaning up the contaminated items," Councilman Bob Blumenfield was quoted by City News Service as saying.
"So during this pandemic, I think it makes good sense that we enhance the penalties and we make a strong statement that it is unacceptable to throw your gloves and masks willy-nilly on the ground,” he added.
Under current California law, people caught littering can face fines of up to $3,000, based on the number of convictions, according to City News Service. In Los Angeles, the harshest penalty is $1,000 and up to six months in jail.
"Anytime you throw any piece of trash on the ground, much less something that's possibly contaminated, just realize the level of disrespect that is for others in the general public," added Councilman Mitch O'Farrell. “I would hope that this is an opportunity for us as Angelenos to show and demonstrate the importance of keeping our neighborhoods cleaner in general."