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Dumping in dark places

Officials say despite cleanup efforts and services to discourage such action, illegal disposal is pr

Posted: April 1, 2012 1:55 a.m.
Updated: April 1, 2012 1:55 a.m.

The lot shown above is one of many poorly lit areas in the Santa Clarita Valley where dumping occurs illegally, according to city officials.


In different areas of Santa Clarita, residents can sometimes find old mattresses, battered couches, bags of trash and other items abandoned by people unwilling to use landfills or trash services to discard their waste.

Despite years of effort on the part of city officials, the problem of illegal dumping remains an issue in Santa Clarita’s open spaces, city parks and vacant lots, according to officials.

Most of the dumping occurs in areas without lights, including vacant lots, city parks, open space, alleyways and sometimes private property, said Gail Ortiz, city spokeswoman.

“We try to be quick about cleaning it up,” Ortiz said. “We don’t want people dumping, and we try to discourage it.”

Some of the areas in the city that see a lot of illegal dumping include east Newhall, Haskell Canyon and the area of Canyon Country near Soledad Canyon Road and Sierra Highway, Ortiz said.

The quantity of illegally dumped materials has stayed steady throughout the years, despite the city’s best efforts to discourage it.

“Dumping breeds more dumping,” Ortiz said. “(Residents) need to take stuff to the dump to be properly disposed of.”

The city has several cameras in place in some of its open spaces, which Ortiz said have shown illegal dumping activity as well as other activities.

If the city finds the person who is responsible for the dumped items, he or she faces a $100 fine for the first offense, and $250 for a second offense.

“A lot of them will say that they paid someone to dispose of their trash,” Ortiz said of the offenders.

Illegal dumping is entirely preventable because city residents are entitled to free bulky-item pickup from Waste Management, Ortiz said. People who live in the county can call their trash collectors for more information about bulky-item pickup.

Offsetting the irresponsible dumping, at least in part, is the fact that many residents volunteer to clean up trash in their areas.

“We have a lot of volunteers,” Ortiz said. “People take care of their community. We’re very appreciative of that.”


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