Dispute over Sun Valley recycling

Despite years of complaints about stench and rodents, neighbors of Community Recycling in Sun Valley say the city has done little to clean things up. (Michael Robinson Chavez / Los Angeles Times / February 24, 2012)

Complaints about the massive open-air recycling facility in Sun Valley flow in each month in minute, sometimes stomach-turning detail.

Rats have skittered off the property of Community Recycling & Resource Recovery and into a nearby business, according to calls logged by the city. Churning dust is said to be "making everyone's eyes burn," making breathing difficult and causing bloody noses among workers at a neighborhood paving firm.

Gulls scavenging from piles of food waste have scattered bits of garbage from the sky. And then there is the stench, variously described in the logs as "a dead animal smell," a "rotten egg odor" and "putrid."

U.S. Rep. Tony Cardenas (D-Panorama City), who until recently represented the area on the Los Angeles City Council, said the facility calls to mind "the cave man days."

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-- Jessica Garrison, Los Angeles Times