The illegal dumping of trash and garbage isn’t new. But now the city of Stockton is better equipped to do something about it.
Last month, the City Council agreed to spend $75,000 to establish a new cleanup crew comprised of inmates from the San Joaquin County Jail.
And Monday, city officials will host a public meeting to collect ideas and suggestions on how the crew should be used and to share information on how to properly dispose of waste.
So here’s your big chance to tell the city about that pile of garbage that seems to perpetually blight your neighborhood.
“This issue has been neglected for a long time,” said City Councilman Elbert Holman, who chairs a special committee on community improvement and crime prevention.
The money comes from a general pot of funds that the City Council could have used for any number of purposes.
“We’ve made this a priority,” Holman said. “We heard the cries of the public.”
The hope, he said, is to use the crew two to three times a week. The money is needed to cover transportation expenses, equipment and other costs.
Like many observers, Holman believes illegal dumping has gotten worse. It’s not that the city’s rules are inadequate, he said, but enforcing them is difficult and cleaning up the dump sites is expensive.
The new cleanup crew won’t be able to keep the streets entirely free of garbage, Holman acknowledged, “but I think they could put a dent in it.”
The city already has a good idea where the worst areas are, Holman said. Some people have been dumping their old belongings in areas near homeless camps, supposedly because they think the…
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