Illegal Dumping Plagues San Francisco’s Bernal Heights

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A pile of trash left outside San Francisco's Bernal Heights Park (CBS)

A pile of trash left outside San Francisco’s Bernal Heights Park (CBS)

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) – Someone has been dumping garbage on the streets and in the parks in San Francisco’s Bernal Heights neighborhood, and neighbors are outraged.

A look inside a huge pile of debris left at the entrance to Bernal Heights Park turned up old cans of paint, construction materials, formaldehyde and even a debit card, all left in the middle of a disabled parking space.

“People are obviously doing this for a living, saving money by dumping it here,” said Mike Nova, a visitor to the park.

Larry Stringer, of the San Francisco’s Department of Public Works, said it’s a city wide issue and blamed renegade contractors for the illegal dumpings. The city gets 19,000 calls a year from residents reporting dumped garbage. It also spends $4 million annually on cleanup.

The residents of Bernal Heights have asked the city for a camera to catch the people responsible. Stringer is not so sure that’s the solution.

“Once the dumpers know where the camera is they take other steps or block their license plates,” he said.

“The price of a solar powered wildlife capture camera would be under a thousand bucks… and they’ve spent more on each response to the cleanup than the camera would cost,” said park-goer Steve Simanonok.

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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