Los Angeles City Councilmember Monica Rodriguez said more than “a quarter ton” of illegal fireworks were voluntarily returned and collected, with support of LAPD and LAFD, in the city of LA’s first ever fireworks buyback program.
The event was held on June 30 at Brand Park in Mission Hills.
Participants received items such as Dodger tickets, passes for Universal Studios and gift cards to Starbucks, Walmart, or Target.
In total, 78 people participated in the four-hour event.
“Thanks to community members who voluntarily participated in this pilot ‘buyback’ effort [as] we netted over a quarter ton of illegal fireworks,” Rodriguez said.
“This program tested a new tool in our citywide effort to combat the use of illegal fireworks. Its inaugural success shows promise for a larger city-wide effort that can return peace to our neighborhoods and enhance public safety for residents.”
While Rodriguez praised the results of the buyback effort, residents noted the Northeast San Fernando Valley still sounded “like a war zone” on July 4.
Residents throughout the Valley and Los Angeles County took to social media pages to complain that they made calls to police about the relentless booming noise from the illegal pyrotechnics that lit up their neighborhoods, but they were told unless police saw the person directly who was lighting the illegal fireworks, there was little they could do.
Firefighters and the LAPD were overwhelmed by calls that were reported to have increased by 170 percent compared to last year.