Santa Cruz County

Agenda Item

Accept and file Illegal Dumping Program report, and direct Public Works to return with a progress report no later than November 2018, as recommended by the Director of Public Works


Department:DPW: RecyclingSponsors:Director John Presleigh
Category:DPW RECYCL - Board LetterFunctions:Land Use & Community Services

Board Letter

On September 19, 2017, your Board directed the Department of Public Works to return with a report on roads most impacted by illegal dumping, how the department plans on tracking illegal dumping and a way to measure the success of the program. Public Works will do this through its new Franchise Agreement, collaboration with other departments and entities (Vector Control, Roads, Roaring Camp, and the City of Santa Cruz), and through augmented services at high intensity dump sites.


The new Recycling and Solid Waste Franchise Agreement with GreenWaste Recovery will help address the issue of illegal dumping.  There will now be three free pickups per year of bulky items such as furniture and appliances, and GreenWaste will track these requests and report to the County.  These bulky items are often found in many of the illegal dump sites.  The new agreement takes effect in January of 2018.


Public Works is collaborating with Vector Control to address the illegal dumping of tires through a new multi-year grant from CalRecycle.  County and local city disposal sites hosted a Tire Disposal Amnesty Week October 14-21, 2017, which will be repeated in April and October of 2018.


The budget approved by your Board for the current fiscal year includes additional funding for the Roads Division’s illegal dumping cleanup team.  Currently, Public Works has only one vehicle which is used to pick up illegal dumping.  We are in the process of procuring an additional vehicle to increase the crew’s effectiveness, with an emphasis on some of the “hot spots” where illegal dumping has been a particular problem.  Please see attached list for these areas.


One of the areas of concern has been along the tracks of the Big Trees and Pacific Railway which run from Roaring Camp in Felton to the Boardwalk in Santa Cruz.  Roaring Camp has agreed to fund cleanup efforts along the tracks by the Clean Team Associates.  County staff have also reached out to the City of Santa Cruz to seek their assistance in areas where the tracks run through their jurisdiction.


Public Works is cognizant of the need to assess the effectiveness of these new efforts, and has begun work on an improved tracking system.  Reports from either County staff or the public will be carefully tracked, and cross-indexed by location, volume and type of material.  Staff will monitor effectiveness with these new resources and, if needed, consider engaging a contractor to assist with illegal dumping clean-ups.  Public Works currently has a contract with Clean Team to perform similar services that could be utilized to augment the program.


We anticipate that with the increase of resources and the expanded outreach campaign that the County will experience a significant increase in materials collected in the first couple years.  It is also anticipated that a gradual decrease in illegal dumping will occur as these efforts take effect. 


Public Works recently conducted a survey to assess public knowledge of illegal dumping to inform the education and outreach marketing campaign.  A brief analysis and the results of the survey are attached.


It is therefore RECOMMENDED that your Board:


1.              Accept and file this report; and


2.              Direct Public Works to return with a progress report no later than November 2018.

Meeting History

Nov 7, 2017 9:00 AM Video Board of Supervisors Regular Meeting
MOVER:Ryan Coonerty, Third District Supervisor
SECONDER:Zach Friend, Vice Chair, Second District Supervisor
AYES:John Leopold, Zach Friend, Ryan Coonerty, Greg Caput, Bruce McPherson