US soldiers to help clean up areas in Oakland prone to illegal dumping

Piles of trash and debris are stacked under Interstate 880 in East Oakland. 

City council member Noel Gallo says this blight is an all too familiar sight in the Fruitvale district.

"We can talk about it. Complain about it. Feel sorry about it. But it's not going to get done until we get active and clean it, " says Gallo. 

For years he's led teams of community members in cleaning up the area; trying to undo the damage caused by others who litter and dump things illegally.

Saturday morning he'll have more help as 50 uniformed army soldiers will be rolling up their sleeves and pitching in for the first time. 

"These are young men that are soldiers some are homegrown here in Oakland. But they're giving back to our community," says Gallo. 

One place targeted in the cleanup is a sidewalk near a homeless encampment along Alameda Avenue, next to Home Depot and 24-hour Fitness. Many say the area has been overrun with illegal activity. 

Gallo dropped off trash bags and snacks to some in the area, so those living on the streets can also do their part. 

"Wherever spot I laid down to sleep I try to make that spot as clean as possible and feel like home," says Sergio Ruiz who is homeless. 

"All I ask is them is to help me pick up what they need to dispose, and we'll dispose" says Gallo. 

 "I'm going to clean up. I'm going to clean this whole area today. I'm going to clean it up," says Aretha Thomas.