Cardboard boxes, aluminum cans and other rubbish are stacked 8 feet high in the Koreatown courtyard, blocking front windows and threatening to spill onto the sidewalk.
Neighbors say they’ve been complaining to city officials for years.
On Tuesday, a judge allowed the Los Angeles City Attorney’s Office to enter the property and meet with the homeowner.
The homeowner, a woman in her 90s, has agreed to allow city workers to clean up the yard starting Thursday, a spokesman for the city attorney said.
The woman’s son, who lives with her and does not give his name, said that he wants to recycle jars and other items piled in the yard.
He takes care of his mother and occasionally repairs bicycles at a shop in Cypress Park.
“A lot of people say, ‘You probably only get $ 20 for some of these things,’” he said, covering his face with a black bandana. “But $ 20 is $ 20.”
Now that the city is determined to clean up the property, it is confident it will not make money from recycling.
Leticia Ruiz has lived next door on Harvard Boulevard since 1981.
When she sat on the porch, boxes, cabinet doors, glass frames, cardboard pipes and other debris towered over her porch.
According to her, the problem has worsened recently. She is embarrassed to receive guests. She has seen rodents and cockroaches roaming the trash heap and wants the city to take pest control measures after harvesting.
“I wrote to the mayor and the city planning department, the code compliance service, so many different departments, and I didn’t hear anything,” Ruiz said.
Neighbors say they’ve worked together for years to fix the situation, and the city has taken action for the first time.
In August, one of their messages finally arrived.
The clean-up is expected to be completed by Monday, said Carly Katona, Los Angeles City Council chief of staff Mark Ridley-Thomas.
Ridley-Thomas’s office will find money to clean up, “given the property owner’s inability to address public health and safety concerns.”
Katona added that the city will coordinate with the county health department’s environmental pest management division.
Ridley-Thomas was suspended from work by his colleagues last month after being charged with conspiracy, bribery and other charges. Katona acts as the office caretaker.
In addition to city attorney officials, paramedics and county mental health professionals arrived on Tuesday to check on the elderly homeowner.
Dwayne Jones, who has lived in the neighborhood for over six years, is worried that after the rubbish pile is cleaned out, it will rise again.
“Hopefully if this time it is eliminated it stays clean,” Jones said.