Trash cleanup underway in South San Jose after months of illegal dumping

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Cleanup work has begun on a major eyesore that has been months in the making, involving trash and blight along Monterey Road in Coyote Valley, one of the main southern gateways into the Bay Area's largest city.

"This area of the city hasn't really gotten the love and care that it deserves," said San Jose city councilmember Sergio Jimenez, who has been working with city staff to help coordinate efforts with multiple agencies, including Union Pacific Railroad, which owns the property where most of the trash has been discarded.

RELATED: San Jose residents demand action from city leaders over illegal dump site

This comes as the council considers a $3 million proposal which would help cleanup other locations throughout the city. That's on top of the $500,000 that the city already spends on a monthly basis on issues related to illegal dumping, which have skyrocketed since the start of the pandemic.

"I'm really looking at exploring long-term solutions to prevent the dumping and one of the things that comes to mind, for example, is potentially installing cameras along Monterey Road," said Jimenez.

Mayor Sam Liccardo is reminding residents to report illegal dumping to the city, and to take advantage of the city's free junk pickup program, rather than dumping items on the side of the road.

RELATED: Push for $3M boost to combat illegal dumping in San Jose as city identifies 200 problem sites

"We know that it's a lot of commercial businesses that aren't following the rules and aren't taking their stuff to the dump cause they don't want to pay the fee," said Liccardo.

City councilmembers are set to consider the proposed spending boost on Tuesday.

"We've got too much trash and too much dumping. We just need to do better and get out there and hustle more and clean up and hold each other accountable," added Liccardo. "The trash isn't coming from an imaginary place. It's coming from us."
Copyright © 2020 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.