By Craig W. Anderson

Trash dumping on San Joaquin County’s rural roads is increasing and, said SJFB Executive Director Bruce Blodgett, “Apparently, a lot of folks don’t know about the legal options available for them to take care of their garbage or trash. Illegal dumping is an ongoing problem we’re working to reduce.”

“We’ve found nearly everything on county and city roads, all of which could be disposed of at one of our sites or donated to a charitable organization for reuse,” said Jim Stone, deputy director, SJC Public Works Department.

Details for legal and effective disposal of almost anything can be found at, (209)-468-3066 as shown on the “How do I dispose of …?” list on page 18 which covers the legal disposal items from Appliances to Vehicles.

Reports and costs
Reports to the county for trash dumping have tripled since 2014-15’s 511 and the clean-up costs have nearly doubled over the same time frame from more than $694,000 to an estimated 1,685 reports and $1.2 million by the end of 2018, according to the Department of Public Works.

“This increase in the frequency of dumping also adds to the costs of doing business for farmers, landowners and other businesses and increases costs to the Sheriff’s Office and Public Works,” said Stone. He pointed out that trash left on the public right of way “all too often is dumped on private land and thus becomes the responsibility of the landowner to clean up.”

Sheriff says dumping on rise
Sheriff Steve Moore said, “Illegal material dumping is somewhat cyclical and after things had tapered off last year, dumping’s on the upswing during this summer season.”

Blodgett, Moore and Stone agreed that one of the best ways to curtail illegal trash dumping is to be alert to dumping and other suspicious activities – “A truck full of trash – ag oriented or not - driving around in an ag area is suspicious,” Moore said. “So, be alert for unusual activity for yourself and your neighbor and call it in.”

“The District Attorney’s serious about this and has prosecuted cases recently,” said Stone. “We hope there will be more successful prosecutions for dumping.”