Clean-up efforts begin at illegal dumpsite in San Jose

Bay Area

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – An illegal dumpsite the size of a football field is being cleaned up in San Jose.  

The action is part of a renewed effort to clean up what amounts to an explosion of illegal dumpsites across the city.

On Monterey Road, just north of Bailey Avenue, where crews are cleaning up an illegal dumpsite that stretches a quarter-mile along the Union Pacific Railroad tracks. 

Earlier this month city hall announced the clean-up would begin by the end of the month.  

Today, crews are making good on that promise. 

The city of San Jose, the Union Pacific and open space authority are jointly cleaning up piles of trash, construction waste, furniture, appliances and other garbage that was threatening to spill over into the roadway and railroad tracks along southbound Monterey Road.  

This and many other illegal dumpsites around town are partly the result of “COVID cleaning,” says District Two City Councilman Sergio Jimenez.

“Folks that are maybe doing some DIY work at their homes, taking out fences, you know throwing away old couches, they saw this, what looked like effectively a dumping ground, and so people would come out and actually get rid of things and throw them out here on the side of the road,” Jimenez said.

Six months ago, there was a small homeless camp here.  

A few people dropped off food and blankets for the campers, who were indeed trespassing.  

Then the donations of lumber, concrete and other construction debris started happening after dark.   

Salvaging batteries and other recyclables to help finance her move to another camp was Mia Caballero.

“They just show up, cars, trucks, and they do it fast too. They pull up and then they dump and just throw it wherever and then they take off and you don’t even see them half of the time,” Caballero said.

The number of homeless here increased. Vehicles, tires, paint, and other toxics arrived. There was a fire and neighbors demanded action. 

Now, the city council will this week consider a tripling of the budget to tackle other dumpsites around town and step up enforcement before those many small dumpsites turn into larger ones like this.

“It’s happening all across the city, and so our efforts are really how do we bring forward the resources so our teams at the city, along with other folks in jurisdictions, can team up together and really bring the property resources to address this issue that’s happening all over the city,” Jimenez said.

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