Read the Pacifica Police log on any given day and there’s a report of someone illegally dumping something.
Just last Sunday, a paraglider knowing about the problem of illegal dumping at Mussel Rock Beach Park, took these photos of two men in a Toyota Minibus illegally dumping a mattress there. He was also able to get the license plate number. As you can see from the photos, looks like the Mussel Rock parking lot has become quite a dumping ground. Notice the couch and ottoman and overflowing garbage can?
The paraglider then reported the incident to Helen Nicely, the Pacifica Beach Coalition’s steward of Mussel Rock, who said she put a call into Daly City officials and police to file a report.
Check the Daly City’s Citizen Service Request, a log for litter and debris reports from members of the public, and there’s at least one entry per day requesting the removal of illegally dumped mattresses, TVS, garbage, and furniture.
Illegal dumping is creating an unhealthy, unsightly blight in otherwise tidy and tranquil neighborhoods, parks and open space in both Pacifica and Daly City, but mostly in Daly City these days.
The numbers are staggering. In 2011, Allied Waste, working cooperatively with the Daly City’s Department of Public Works, collected more than 309 tons of illegally dumped garbage from City streets, sidewalks, parks, and playgrounds. That is an increase of 136% over the amount collected in 2010. In the first three months of 2012, 95.4 tons of illegally dumped garbage were collected, putting Daly City on pace to surpass the amount collected last year.
Since 2006, Daly City has increased fines and implemented mandatory collection to combat littering and illegal dumping, according to results from an Illegal Dumping Survey by the League of California Cities. Household furniture, appliances, mattresses, televisions, computer parts — any items the disposal facilities charge a premium to discard — are the items most commonly illegally dumped in both Pacifica and Daly City.
Still, the dumping continues and has become a disturbing trend in the area. According to the Illegal Dumping Survey, the dumping is a direct result of the high cost of properly dumping at a refuse facility. To prosecute illegal dumping you must catch someone in the act.
Dumping garbage on public property is illegal (California Penal Code Section 374.3). Perpetrators who are caught face fines of up to $3,000. The practice of placing a “free” sign on unwanted items dumped on the sidewalk does not grant the offending party immunity from the law. If items are gently used and have value, one of many local charitable organizations, such as Goodwill, Salvation Army or St. Vincent De Paul, might accept them as a tax-deductible donation. In many cases, items with a “free” sign are hauled away at the expense of taxpayers
Tired of litter in your neighborhood?
To report illegal dumping in Pacifica, please call the Code Enforcement Office for information at (650) 738-7344 or Public Works at (650) 738-3760. Report illegal dumping in Daly City online at www.dalycity.org. Click on the “Citizen Service Request” tab at the bottom of the left margin of the home page. You may also report illegal dumping by calling the Public Works Department at (650) 991-8038. If you witness suspected illegal dumping in progress, call the Daly City Police Department at (650) 991-8119 or the Pacifica Police Department (650) 738-7314.
The City of Daly City is having a free event on March 16, 2013 for people to dispose of their old televisions, monitors, computers.
Three times a year, Recology of the Coast offers a special pickup service for large or bulky items as well as extra garbage bags from your curb. Couches, mattresses and washing machines are examples of bulky items which are too large to be disposed of with your normal collection.
What’s the solution to this problem? One idea proposed in the Illegal Dumping Survey would be to charge a disposal fee at the time of a purchase of such items as mattresses, appliances, and other frequently dumped items. What do think?