Commentary: Illegal Dumping Day

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(Sacramento, CA)
Friday, March 17, 2006

Neighborhood Cleanup Day is the wrong title for this program for all those communities like Carmichael and Antelope. It should be called Illegal Dumping Day.

It works like this: The county notifies a neighborhood that it's time to drag the big items out to the curb for pick-up. And on this blessed day, a county tractor with a claw in front picks up our old barbecues and lounge chairs and deposits them in a county truck.

The problem is, those miscreants who don't live in the neighborhood who are too cheap to take their mounds of trash to the landfill. They find the neighborhoods with the tidy piles at the curbs that are about to have their cleanup-days, and the lowlifes dump their own piles in front of somebody else's home. Including a lot of the stuff that's downright illegal to dump. It's becoming one big headache for the county crews.

There is a solution. It's called Trash pick-up by appointment. The resident calls when the garage finally overflows. And the county comes to the rescue - once a year. This technique has decreased illegal dumping in other local cities that have tried it, such as Sacramento. And now the county is about to try an appointment system as an experiment. It'll work. It HAS worked in other areas. Here's to ending the tradition of Illegal Dumping Day in Sacramento County.


Tom Philp writes for the Sacramento Bee Opinion pages.