OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- We've been down this road before, done dozens of stories over the years about the plague of illegal dumping, a messy problem with no ready solutions.
So why should we believe state and county leaders now, when they say they're devoting more resources-- $750,000 in state funds to combat illegal dumping?
"We use the three 'E' strategies, which is education, eradication and enforcement," said Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O'Malley, standing with Contra Costa County DA Diana Becton and other local leaders to announce a new pilot program.
"We're trying to move an agenda that's once again going to increase sanctions and penalties for illegal dumping and provide the resources to follow-up on that," said Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley.
Many of the stories we've done in recent year's center around Oakland and its pervasive dumping problem. But it's also happening in Contra Costa County...especially along rural bypasses, like Bailey Road...where it seems there's an appliance, a couch even, every few hundred yards.
"There's kind of this theory that there are people who are clueless, careless and malicious," Contra Costa County Supervisor Diane Burgis, part of a "think tank" formed in her county.
"We're looking at lighting, cameras," explained Burgis, "We're looking at people who are supposed to have garbage service that they're actually subscribing. We're making sure we're looking at how we're doing outreach, for people who need to know how to get rid of a mattress or chemicals."
Burgis said Contra Costa County will hire four "per diem" sworn officers, probably retired from law enforcement, to root out and cite or arrest those who dump illegally.
Burgis said a big part of the new pilot will be enforcing existing laws and fines, which range from $250 to $10,000.
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