FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, May 8, 2012
PRESS CONTACT: 415-554-6926, Gloria.email@example.com
PUBLIC WORKS CLEANS UP SEVERAL LARGE PILES AND TONS OF DEBRIS ILLEGALLY DUMPED AT BERNAL HEIGHTS
Public encouraged to be report suspicious activity and illegal dumping; Community Meeting scheduled for May 15th, 7pm at SFPD Ingleside Station
San Francisco, CA – After three incidents in the last week and a total of five incidents since the beginning of the year of large piles of construction debris and green waste weighing several tons dumped at the base of Bernal Heights Park on Folsom Street, the Department of Public Works (DPW), the San Francisco Recreation and Park Department (RPD) and the San Francisco Police Department (SFPD) are asking the public to be extra watchful for suspicious trucks and activities in the area, and also has called for a community meeting that invites neighbors and city departments to meet and discuss the recent rash of illegal dumping in the area.
The public is invited to attend a Community Meeting on May 15th, at 7:00 p.m. at the San Francisco Police Department’s Ingleside Station, 1 Sgt. John V. Young Lane, to discuss and learn more about cleanup efforts and strategies to deter future incidents.
“Public Works is working closely with the community and law enforcement agencies to holding the people responsible for this type of activity accountable,” said Mohammed Nuru, Director of the Department of Public Works. “Our crews respond immediately as soon as these incidents are reported, but we need the public’s assistance to help prevent illegal dumping activity; which hurts the quality of life in our neighborhoods.”
On Monday, May 7th, crews responded to a huge pile with green waste, five-gallon buckets of paint, wood and other materials that stretched from the parking lot into the street. That same day, second pile found further down Bernal Heights Boulevard was cleaned up by DPW crews. That pile had been set on fire and was extinguished by the San Francisco Fire Department earlier. Altogether, the piles of materials collected weighed 6.3 tons. Fires along the Bernal hillside can be especially dangerous as the weather dries out nearby vegetation.
On Friday, May 4th, DPW cleaned up a large pile containing construction materials, wood, nails, paint cans and other industrial items that had been unloaded in the same location onto the disabled parking spot in the north parking lot at Bernal Heights Park. Similar large piles were cleaned up by DPW at the same location in October, November, and December 2011, and also in January and February 2012. Both DPW and RPD coordinate each cleanup.
The SFPD is stepping up patrols in this neighborhood in response to the rash of illegal dumping activity. “The dumping of trash, toxic and hazardous materials is not only unsightly, but is also a public safety issue,” said Captain Daniel Mahoney of the Ingleside Police Station. “Residents should report suspicious persons and vehicles by calling the non-emergency dispatch line: (415) 553-0123. With support and assistance from the community, we can develop the information necessary to bring people who engage in illegal dumping to justice.”
Dumping waste on public property is unlawful and carries a penalty of up to $1,000 in accordance with California Penal Code Section 374.3. The city will respond to more than 22,000 reports of sidewalk dumping this year, which normally involve picking up illegally dumped furniture, mattresses, appliances, and household debris. The large criminal incidents are routinely dumped by commercial trucks in the middle of the night, and weigh several tons. They are costly to clean up, can contain hazardous materials, and are a major eye-sore and hazard to passers-by and the public.
DPW is responsible for the care and maintenance of San Francisco’s streets and much of its infrastructure. The department cleans and resurfaces streets; plants and maintains City street trees; designs, constructs and maintains city-owned facilities; inspects streets and sidewalks; constructs curb ramps; removes graffiti from public property; and partners with the diverse neighborhoods in San Francisco to provide stellar cleaning and greening services.