Enforcement Related To Illegal Dumping: A message from the Oakland Public Works Director

“Oakland Public Works (OPW) is reaching out to you today because you are an important stakeholder in our partnership to reduce illegal dumping in Oakland. For many years illegal dumping has been growing worse in Oakland, disproportionately harming black and brown communities and contributing to a decades-long pattern of inequities in public health and public safety.”

We are making progress together. Thanks to the strong advocacy of our communities, the leadership of our elected officials, and the dedication and expertise of our seasoned OPW staff, we are investing more in services to address this urgent problem. We are taking a holistic approach we refer to as

The Three E’s:

Education, rolling out the Oaktown PROUD community campaign to prevent dumping, inform our neighbors about affordable services that can help them dispose properly of unwanted belongings and trash, and empower communities to participate or volunteer in tackling this problem together.

Eradication, cleaning up dumping where it is reported or found by our crews. We hold ourselves to high standards for responsiveness to community complaints and a growing proactive effort by our Garbage Blitz Crews to clean up hot spots and illegal dumping corridors we already know about.

Enforcement, restoring and reinventing our team of Environmental Enforcement Officers (EEOs) to uphold the rules that keep our streets clean and hold dumpers accountable – whether that means just letting them know we’re watching, or issuing consequences to their behavior.

Today, our update is about enforcement. Since OPW formed the new EEO program in February 2019, we have been steadily growing the team and the scope of their work. For months they have been patrolling, coordinating with OAK311 and our cleanup crews to hone in on priority issues, and developing a range of enforcement techniques to meet the range of dumping situations Oaklanders see every day. Our EEOs have developed investigation techniques, confronted suspected dumpers, issued notices to abate dumping and followed up to ensure dumpers were cleaning up their own messes after being contacted. We also developed and issued a small number of citations.

Starting on July 6, we are piloting the soft launch of an enhanced ticketing process to step up citations to dumpers. We are starting small – we need to test the systems we created to issue and process the new tickets, to make sure they work for our community and function as they are intended to function. For the next six months we’ll be rolling out this approach and making adjustments to improve as we go.

We need our communities’ continued input and feedback to make this the best service it can be, and we ask for your help! We hope you’ll provide direct input by filling out and sharing our online survey, available at www.oaktownproud.com. There you will also find information about all of the City’s services to help reduce illegal dumping in Oakland and more ways you can stay involved. As always, if you see dumping in your neighborhood please report it to OAK311 by dialing 311 or (510) 615-5566 or using the free OAK311 mobile app for Apple and Android devices.

Thank you for all you do to help us making Oakland a cleaner, healthier place to live and work for everyone. We will keep you updated as we continue developing our services to reduce illegal dumping in Oakland!

Sincerely,
David Ferguson
Interim Director Oakland Public Works

Oakland Proud