New Oakland program offers rewards for reporting illegal dumping

The program is called "Reward for Reporting Illegal Dumping" and it is the city's latest attempt to crack down on the blight and lawlessness brought on by illegal dumpers.

The program works by witnesses successfully reporting a perpetrator who is then assessed a fine. The reporting witness is eligible for a minimum $100 reward or up to half of the fine a perpetrator pays, whichever is greater.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said she hopes the incentive program sends a message to criminals.

"Not only should they be afraid of a fine, they now know that people have an incentive to turn them in," she said.

Schaaf said the city has seen a 60 percent increase in the number of service requests related to illegal dumping in the last four years. It is estimated the city received more than 19,000 calls related to illegal dumping last year.

According to Schaaf, illegal dumping costs the city $5.5 million dollars in public funds a year. "This city deserves to be beautiful and we can't tolerate this type of illegal activity," Shaaf added.

To obtain a reward, witnesses should report information about illegal dumping to the Oakland Public Works call center at (510) 615-5566.

Information can be reported online at or via email at

Officials said that reports should include the type and amount of debris being dumped, as well as the location. The most important information is typically the license plate numbers of any vehicles used in the act.

Photos and videos are also helpful, but only when they can be obtained safely.

Anonymous tips will not qualify for a reward, and witnesses must provide a signed statement about the incident. If the report leads to hearings or judicial processes, witnesses will have to testify.

For more information about the program and eligibility requirements for a reward, go to