SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — San Jose is trying to figure out who will clean up the trash at a freeway off ramp being called an embarrassment, and the answer may be homeless people.

“In 40 years in San Jose I’ve never seen the freeway ramps so strewn with trash,” Susan Snydal of the Campus Community Association’s Beautification Committee told KPIX 5.

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The debate over who the responsibility falls on for the cleanup at the I-280 off ramp to 10th and 11th streets has been a long battle.

The concern is that the trash mars a gateway to Silicon Valley, San Jose State, and downtown San Jose.

Snydal thinks cash-strapped Caltrans has been playing favorites.

“For instance on our beautiful peninsula – Los Altos, Palo Alto, and the freeway ramps look wonderful. They have very little trash.”

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If Caltrans can’t come up with a solution, Councilman Sam Liccardo says homeless people may be able to do the job, because they already work with the San Jose Streets Team.

“They work with clients who are in the streets, or in creeks, and engage them in volunteer work, but they’re essentially showing up every day, doing hard work,” Licardo said.

The homeless wouldn’t be paid for the work, but instead given vouchers for food and housing.


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