The Public Eye

Reports from the Bee's investigative team

October 15, 2010
Natomas road near airport is dumping ground

The Problem: North Natomas resident Terry Palmer said he and neighbors repeatedly complained to the city over the past two months about illegal dumping at Airport Road and Natomas Crossing Drive.

Everything from abandoned vehicles to furniture and TV sets were dropped off at the dead-end street, creating an eyesore and a fire hazard.

He called the city's 311 service line, as well as his City Council representative and the Police Department.

The Solution: After Public Eye called, the site was cleaned up this week.

Jessica Hess, spokeswoman for the Department of Utilities, said the city received 14 calls about the Airport Road-Natomas Crossing Drive since July 1.

The city has one crew to respond to an average of 400 calls per month regarding illegal dumping. She said the crew typically cleans up about 40 sites a day and responds to illegal dumping reports within two to three weeks.

"While we are sympathetic to Mr. Palmer's concerns, illegal dumping is a chronic problem in Sacramento and illegal dumping is a crime," Hess said in an e-mail.

The community can help by reporting incidents in progress, she said. The city offers a $500 reward for those caught and convicted of illegally dumping.

Residents hiring someone to haul waste from their property also can help by using licensed and bonded haulers, who are more likely to take material to the dump or transfer station instead of depositing it in a vacant lot.

People who observe someone illegally dumping material in the city are asked to call the Sacramento Police Department at (916) 264-5471, and to jot down the vehicle's license number and a description of the suspects in case they leave before police arrive.

- Cathy Locke

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