OAKLAND, Calif. - A new program in Oakland just launched that created free options for residents to get rid of bulky waste.
Some residents in East Oakland told KTVU the amount of trash piling up on sidewalks, vacant lots, near overpasses, and train tracks is out of control.
12-year-old Yareli Silva Torres said she has a hard time just walking to the grocery store with her grandmother. "It’s sad because when me and grandma go to the store we have to pass through the street because we can’t get through the sidewalk because that’s how much trash there is," she said.
A new program aims to encourage people to stop illegal dumping and start cleaning up the city. It allows all Oakland residents free bulky waste service.
Here’s how it works – residents can either haul items to the drop-off site at the Davis Street Transfer Station in San Leandro or schedule curbside pickup.
For the first time, renters can reach out directly to schedule a disposal.
"We want to encourage those of you who are renters to take advantage of this," said Treva Reid with the Oakland City Council. "You no longer how to work with your landlord. You can schedule the date and time that works for you."
"We have got to get back to making sure the city is a clean safe environment," said City Councilmember Noel Gallo.
Gallo grew up in Oakland. He said illegal dumping is worse than ever – and part of the problem is lack of enforcement.
He blamed illegal hauling services, as well as the fact that many people don’t want to pay to properly dispose of bulky trash.
"We gotta have some pride and respect and loyalty to our city and most of all to our children and families because if not this becomes the norm," said Gallo.
He hopes this new program will make it easier for people to do their part and keep the city clean.
Oakland Public Works cleaned more than 2,300 tons of illegal dumping items from October 2020 to September of this year.
There is no new cost to the city for this program.
Residents can call waste management, or use the online system to schedule a collection.