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Massive Arroyo Seco homeless camp cleanup continues

A major clean up of the Arroyo Seco riverbed is underway near South Pasadena.
A major clean up of the Arroyo Seco riverbed is underway near South Pasadena.
Pepe Garcia/ L.A. Bureau of Sanitation

One of Los Angeles's largest and most complicated homeless camp cleanups in recent years will continue on Tuesday, as workers dismantle between 17 and 20 dwellings tucked along the 110 freeway near South Pasadena. 

"The complicated part of it is the remoteness of the area that we're cleaning up," said Jose Garcia, an official with Los Angeles city Bureau of Sanitation. 

The encampment area, which is hidden in spots wedged between the 110 freeway and the Arroyo Seco near South Pasadena, has for years been a makeshift home for people living outdoors looking to escape the heat and other dangers. On Sunday, large mounds of trash and personal items could be seen in heaps along the freeway. 

One pile was directly across the street from the manicured greens of the Arroyo Seco Golf Course.

The cleanup process started last week and paused Thursday when crews were diverted to help set up for the Made in America music festival in downtown Los Angeles. Garcia estimates that 50 to 60 tons of material from the camps will be removed by the time the cleanup is done later this week.

"The cleanup effort is to improve the living conditions of both the people that live around these areas and the people that live within these areas," he said.

People living in the camps were given notice before the cleanup began so they could save and store their personal items, Garcia said. 

A spokesman for the Los Angeles Homeless Services Authority said he had no information on the cleanup, and the director of homeless services could not be reached during the Labor Day holiday.