The political world will continue to debate the merits of the Occupy Wall Street movement, and its partner movements in cities across America. But there is one undeniable--if temporary--legacy that the recently evacuated partisans of Occupy L.A. have bequeathed.: 30 tons of trash.
A Los Angeles Police officer looks through the debris that was left by Occupy Los Angeles supporters after the …
Andrea Alacron, president of the city's Public Works board, told the Los Angeles Times that cleanup crews have already removed 25 tons of debris that the protestors who spent the past two months occupying the site have left behind. All of the removed debris will be taken directly to a landfill and disposed.
"It's so contaminated, it doesn't even make sense to sort it out," said Jose "Pepe" Garcia, 49, superintendent of the city's north central sanitation district.
In addition, sanitation crews at the erstwhile Occupy L.A. site have vacuumed up 3,000 gallons of water, which has seeped into a nearby catch basin in recent days. Officials are testing the water for hazardous waste:
The sheer volume of personal belongings left behind after the early morning Los Angeles Police Department raid has astonished city workers: books and CDs, luggage and boom boxes, mattresses and dining chairs, cellphones, electric razors, a small red guitar with its neck snapped —- all surrounded by dozens of collapsed and empty tents.
A steady flow of people stopped by the park Wednesday to take photos and video and watch workers in white hazmat suits rake trash into neat piles.
"It's a shame how I see all trash around here," onlooker Rami Delgado, 25, told the paper. "People don't understand that the freedom starts here in your mind. You know why this is filthy and not clean is there isn't leadership," he said.
But fellow visitor Normal Schwartz, 76, said the sad part about the scene is that it's now empty. "There was no longer this wonderful thing going on," he said. "It was just an empty, dirty park."
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