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  Putting a Stop to Dumping
September 12, 2004

Dumping has become endemic in Richmond. Favorite spots are poorly lit streets in commercial and industrial areas where few people live, deserted cul-de-sacs and vacant lots. There are many reasons for this, but most of them boil down to people not wanting to pay the fee required to dump things legally in the landfill. Paying someone to “haul stuff to the dump” is illegal in Richmond, a violation of Chapter 9.20 of the Municipal Code. Only the franchised Richmond Sanitary Services, operated by Republic Services, has the right to legally pick up and haul waste of any kind in Richmond. Any individual, of course, can haul his own waste to the landfill for disposal for a fee.


In fact, it is illegal in Richmond to even park a vehicle on a City street with trash in it that rises above the height of the bed. If you see such a vehicle, call the Police at 233-1214. 


If you need waste hauled away, call Richmond Sanitary Services 3260 Blume Drive, Richmond, CA 94806, Tel (510) 262-1640. Homeowners in Richmond have a right to two special hauls a year over and above what can be deposited in the trash cans. Call (510) 262-1640 for this service, which you already pay for.


Recently, the code enforcement and abatement program in Richmond has undergone another change. Code enforcement remains under the Richmond Police Department. If you want to report what you believe is a code violation of any kind on private property, or you have information about dumping on public property, contact dick_tak@ci.richmond.ca.us. If trash or garbage has been dumped in a City street, sidewalk or public park, contact willie_haywood@ci.richmond.ca.us of the Public Services Department.


I have been discussing with Chief Bennett potential ways of enhancing the prospect of apprehending and fining individuals who are dumping in Richmond. The police can’t be everywhere 24 hours a day, so we have to all help if we want to stop this assault. Chief Bennett suggested a reward for those who identify dumpers or provide information, such as vehicle license numbers, that can be used to apprehend them. I have placed on the September 21, 2004, City Council agenda an amendment to the Richmond Municipal Code, Chapter 9.20, Solid Wastes, that will provide a substantial reward for those who provide information resulting in the successful apprehension of dumpers. See attached file.


There is already a similar provision for graffiti, but perhaps too few people know about it to make it work. It seems someone could make a pretty good living tracking down graffiti artists:

9.42.060 Authorization for reward.

The City Manager is authorized and directed to pay as a reward the sum of $200.00 in the aggregate per case, where a claim for reward is made, for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person who places graffiti on any building or structure of another in violation of Section 9.42.030.

9.42.050 Liability of minor imputed to parent.

Any act of a minor which results in the unauthorized placement of graffiti on any public or privately owned building or structure in violation of Section 9.42.030 shall be imputed to the parents or guardian having custody or control of the minor. The parents or guardian having custody of the minor shall be liable for all damages so caused by the minor in a sum not to exceed $2,000.00. In addition, the parents or guardian shall be liable to the City for any sum paid by the City to remove the graffiti or to reimburse the City for any reward paid as provided in this chapter.


Another way of dealing with both dumping and petty crime, such as vehicle break-ins, vehicle theft and home burglary in Richmond is the use of neighborhood controlled video cameras at strategic locations. Again, we cannot expect a police officer on every block 24/7, but a high resolution video camera could record lawbreakers and be accessed after the fact for evidence, such as vehicle license numbers. Our neighborhood is going to spend about $2,500 on an installation. Shared by 10 or more neighbors, the cost per household would be around $250. Even one apprehension would provide payback. If you want to contact our installer, email Tom Carson at tom@integration-team.com.


agenda request form dumping reward.doc