Illegal dumping causes significant health and safety problems in San Francisco. The City receives approximately 45 reports of illegal dumping each day, which amounts to over 16,000 per year. The Department of Public Works (DPW) collects 3,647 tons of illegally disposed garbage, costing over $4 million a year annually.
This grant will be used to clean up and eliminate 25 of the chronic illegal dumping hot spots in the City’s most frequented dumping locations in the Southeast portion of the City. Illegal dumping occurs consistently in the City’s Supervisorial District Ten.
The neighborhoods of Bayview Hunters Point suffer from illegally disposed appliances, tires, bio-hazardous materials like syringes, construction debris including broken shards of glass and toxic chemicals like paint and solvents, and household garbage on pubic right-of-ways and vacant parcels. The dumping presents potential environmental and public health threats. Appliances offer the opportunity for heavy metals and CFC’s to be released into the environment. Illegally dumped material quickly becomes a breeding habitat for vectors, such as mice, rats and mosquitoes. Organic matter produces odors. Debris, if allowed to accumulate, can cause traffic hazards on public streets and contribute to the spread of dust particulates in the air. Most piles offer a potential for sharp objects to be exposed, and create a hazard for children who live nearby. Hazardous chemicals can make their way into drainage systems and into natural water flows. Lastly, unaddressed piles of waste work to encourage additional illegal dumping in the area, further exacerbating the crisis.
In addition to the presence of illegally dumped materials being an attractant for more illegally dumped materials , rampant and unattended piles makes the statement that “this is a city that does not care.” Grime in a neighborhood leads to crime; the two are inextricably linked to the quality of life in a neighborhood.
The Department of Public Works cleans up illegal dumpsites routinely, and clean streets and neighborhoods is one of the City’s top priorities. The mission of the Department of Public Works is to contribute to making San Francisco a beautiful, livable, vibrant, and sustainable city.
The City’s illegal dumping cleanup program will allow for cleanup of 25 chronic illegal dumping locations, provide for enforcement officers to investigate and prepare small claims court cases, and mitigation and control measures, such as stakeouts and a public education campaign.
The City believes that through grant funding from Cal Recycle, which focuses on a comprehensive program that includes site clean-up, mitigations, community outreach, targeted enforcement, and program measurement, the identified sites can be eliminated as chronic illegal dumping sites and the quality of life for the nearby residents can be improved.