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Non-Profit Gets East Oakland Neighborhood Residents Involved In Clean-Up

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) -- Volunteers on Monday were making a concerted effort to clean up trash in an East Oakland neighborhood that has been plagued with illegal dumping.

People who live in the neighborhood around 90th and G streets tell KPIX 5 that clean-up efforts always seem to fall by the wayside. On Monday, they had a renewed sense of hope that things will change for the better and stay that way.

"It's terrible, it's awful, it's disgusting," said B Street resident Jautan Stancill.

Parts of the neighborhood are like a dumpster, with dismantled cars and garbage littering the streets. People have been illegally dumping all kinds of thrash here for years.

Ken Houston works with the Beautification Council. A non-profit that gets people to help clean up their own neighborhoods.

"Because people are going to see that we care. This is our streets. Go somewhere else," said Houston.

Some people don't think it's a matter of getting rid of the mess; it's more about keeping it clean and holding people accountable.

"It's plaguing our neighbors. Would you want to live here? Would you want to give a party? You would feel embarrassed," said Houston. "Not only that, it's a public safety issue where there's health concerns, it's public safety concerns. It's everything."

Stancill said an increased police presence could also help.

"If it's patrolled on a regular basis, I think so, because they do come out and clean, explained Stancill. However once there's no one here to monitor, it's dumping again. It's graffiti again. It's unsavory people doing it."

That's why there was some hope in the neighborhood Monday.

Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley is launching a pilot program that targets illegal dumpers.

He says it's a problem that's too big for local jurisdictions to handle on their own.

"The folks who are doing the illegal dumping just go across the border and dump somewhere else, said Miley. So we need to have strict compliance around illegal dumping throughout the entire state."

Supervisor Miley said ideally, he'd like to install surveillance cameras in this area to help keep everyone accountable.

The pilot program includes a neighborhood survey and increased trash pickup and enforcement.

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