SAN JOSE, Calif. (KRON) – The city of San Jose may soon be upping the ante in what the mayor says is “The Battle Against Blight.”
The City Council is being asked to triple the budget toward cleaning up the mess.
This is one of some 200 trash hotspots across the city of San Jose.
A lot of it is associated with homeless camps like this chronic encampment near Story Road and Highway 101 but much of it is the result of illegal dumping, this huge dumpsite on Monterey Road, along the Union Pacific Railroad tracks is a quarter-mile long.
Crews are picking up 45 tons of trash every week.
The city is losing the Battle Against Blight, said Mayor Sam Liccardo during a virtual news conference.
“When this is something of a perfect storm, all the results of the impacts of COVID, certainly the recession that we’re all challenged with, there have been many, many factors,” Liccardo said.
The mayor and city councilmembers Sergio Jimenez, Dev Davis, and Lan Diep are proposing a tripling of the budget for cleaning up the mess.
Another $3 million from the general fund would pay for more dumpsters, more crews, outreach and enforcement.
The illegal dumping of appliances is up 160-percent, most of it is due to what Beautify San Jose’s Olympia Williams says is “COVID cleaning.”
“People are buying these sofas and appliances, they’re looking for ways to get rid of them and that’s kind of been the challenge. What people don’t dispose of appropriately ends up on the street or in an encampment unfortunately,” Williams said.
The city, the Union Pacific, Open Space Authority, and private property owners have come to terms on a plan to clean up the Monterey Road site by year’s end.
If the extra money is approved, there will be an emphasis on cleaning up illegal dumpsites as soon as they are discovered.
More dumpsters would be deployed to homeless camps.
Beyond that, a lot of the mess is just plain litter.
Oakland Road is another one of those hotspots where the blight has been building up for months.
“There’s a lot we’re grappling with but what we know is there’s more we can do and there’s more we are going to do in the weeks ahead,” Liccardo said.
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