OAKLAND (CBS SF) -- Oakland City officials announced a citywide crackdown on illegal dumping Wednesday, promising to clean up the mess caused by those not wanting to drop their trash at the dump.
The city says Illegal dumping issues have been growing in the city for years, with Oakland Public Works (OPW) having to make 30,000 trash pickups annually, which is almost triple the amount a decade ago. The city attempted to address the issue in 2018 with OAK311, which made reporting illegal dumping easier for residents; and OPW's "Garbage Blitz Crews," which patrolled dumping hotspots and cleaned them before they could be reported.
On Wednesday, Mayor Libby Schaaf and other city officials announced they expanded the number of Garbage Blitz Crews to four -- enough to dedicate one team per the city's designated dumping hotspots. In total, OPW employs 15 workers on the crews.
"Oaklanders are getting excited to build back better as we begin to imagine life after the COVID-19 pandemic, and it will take everyone playing their part to create a cleaner, healthier home for all of us," Schaaf said. "I'm grateful to these incredible crews for their dedication and hard work, and inspired by the community leadership in every neighborhood to volunteer and help make a cleaner Oakland on our own street."
The city also plans to bring back the Bulky Block Party event series, which went on hiatus in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The events allow residents to drop off large items of trash for free at a designated site. An announcement is expected to come within the next few weeks.
The city also plans to hold pandemic-safe cleanup events as part of Oakland Earth Day -- now Earth Month. Residents can learn more at the city's website.
"The City asks that community members help identify new or returned hot-spot areas by continuing to report illegal dumping to OAK311, and make full use of available trash services as part of the ongoing Oaktown PROUD community campaign to reduce illegal dumping in Oakland," a city statement read.
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