The campaign builds on a years-long effort by the city to combat illegal dumping, which has been on the rise as the housing crisis displaces families and forces thousands of people to sleep on the streets and riverbanks. According to a report going before the City Council on Tuesday, the city has cleaned up nearly 1,200 mattresses, 620 shopping carts, 320 tons of debris, 422 gallons of motor oil, 148 gallons of paint and 151 gallons of human waste since last summer.
Since San Jose began offering free junk hauling for single-family homes in 2014, the number of pickups has grown from 7,050 to 15,240 this past fiscal year. The mayor will ask the council this week to consider expanding the program.
Liccardo’s #BeautifySJ campaign will leverage partnerships with CalTrans and expand neighborhood grants for localized cleanups. For more on that, visit www.beautifysj.org.
— Dev Davis (@DevDavisCA) February 12, 2017
The city’s illegal dumping response team fields about 26 calls for service per day, according to the status report. About 70 percent of the calls relate to junk left on public right-of-ways.
To keep up with the demand, the city’s Environmental Services Department has teamed up with the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office weekend work program, which assigns low-level offenders to community service in lieu of jail. On average, the city gets help from seven weekenders a day, five days a week.
For homeless encampments, the city sends out its Homeless Response Team, which tries to connect people with social services before dismantling the camps. Volunteers then help clean up remaining trash and watershed rangers patrol the area to prevent people from resettling.
In December, the county entered into a $790,320 agreement with the California Department of Transportation to help with trash pickup. The funding pays for a crew of six “at-risk” teens and young adults to clean up and maintain Caltrans right-of-ways.
As part of the city’s mid-year budget review, the council will consider spending $133,000 to install cameras, signs, gates or lighting in 10 hotspots that account for about half of all reports of illegal dumping.
— Sam Liccardo (@sliccardo) February 11, 2017
More from the San Jose City Council agenda for February 14, 2017:
- While the city budget is fairly stable, it’s still unable to bring services back to pre-recession levels, according to a mid-year budget review. Two urgent actions recommended by city finance staff, however, include spending $275,000 on cyber-security measures and another $75,000 to fund legal services for the city’s Office of Immigrant Affairs.
- George Lahlouh, the owner of craft cocktail lounge Paper Plane in downtown San Jose, is fiercely opposed to a proposal submitted by Jenny Wolfes to open a new nightclub on South First Street. Calling her other venues “tasteless and unappealing,” Lahlouh urged the city to deny her petition for a late-night use permit for a club called FUZ Bar and Grill. “We were concerned about an operator with a dangerous and reckless track record, trying to open a high-occupancy night club in the heart of our neighborhood—something that is most likely to happen if given a permit for late night use,” Lahlouh wrote in a letter to downtown Councilman Raul Peralez. “We have concerns for the safety of our staff, our patrons, and our community and absolutely have the right to be concerned. We have worked hard to build up the First Street community because we love San Jose. It’s home. We don’t feel Ms. Wolfes is right for this community and we stand in opposition of her [conditional use permit] application for late night use.”
WHAT: City Council
WHEN: 1:30pm Tuesday
WHERE: City Hall, 200 E. Santa Clara St., San Jose
INFO: City Clerk, 408.535.1260