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Crackdown on illegal dumping coming to the East Bay

By Amy Hollyfield / ABC 7 

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The state of California will dedicate $750,000 for a one-year pilot program to target illegal dumping in Contra Costa and Alameda counties.  Assemblymember Rebecca Bauer-Kahan helped secure the money. 

"My office is constantly receiving calls from constituents, letting us know how it is affecting all of our neighborhoods. We had a coffee last night where a resident from Livermore came to tell us about mattresses being dumped on the rural road where he lives," Bauer-Kahan said Wednesday morning at a press conference.

The money will pay to dedicate three sworn officers to the issue -- one in Contra Costa and two in Alameda. District attorneys in both counties are also on board.

RELATED: Alameda County joins Oakland in pilot program aimed at combating illegal dumping program

"Imagine children going out of their house in the morning to school and climbing over mounds of garbage and vermin and rats and other animals that come where you put garbage. It's a disgrace how some people have treated parts of our county," said District Attorney Nancy O'Malley.

Officials say even if you haven't dumped garbage illegally, maybe you have hired someone who did.

"We look at unscrupulous haulers who are being paid to take people's leftover garbage away to a refuse center and, instead of going to the refuse center, they go a few blocks and dump it into a field or even in front of people's houses," O'Malley said.

Officials say these cases drain resources. They say they receive plenty of tips but those require a significant amount of time in follow up to develop evidence. Officials are hoping this pilot project will serve as a model for the rest of the state.

RELATED: Contra Costa County looking at new plan to curb illegal trash dumping

"I am not naive enough to think we are going to end it all because we are living in the world as it is, not the world as it should be and we're always going to have problems. But the amount of illegal dumping has gotten out of control and we need to address it comprehensively," said Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley.

"So I am pleased with the funding, pleased with our collaboration. Get the word out... we're coming after you because illegal dumping is something that cannot be tolerated. It's a plague on our society and all of us have a responsibility and we need to stop it.

Offenders could face fines, community service, or jail time.