PALMDALE – A pilot program aimed at reducing illegal dumping in Palmdale has resulted in the collection of nearly four tons of bulky items over the last six months.
Partnering with 11 local multi-family complexes near dumping hot spots, the City of Palmdale and Waste Management offered collection events and vouchers to make disposing of bulky items easy for residents.
Waste Management coordinated the drop-off and pick-up of bins for collection events and tracked the volume of disposed bulky items at each event.
“We wanted to make it easy for people to do the right thing by going to their homes to pick up bulky items …” said Palmdale Administrative Analyst Benjamin Lucha. “It’s great to see how much interest there is among complex residents and especially managers who are the ones who have [to] deal with clearing out dumped items in front of their properties. We could nip it in the bud by proactively going to people who are moving out and making sure we collect their items before they dump them.”
“My tenants are very excited,” said Jose Garcia, manager at Avalon Apartments, one of the complexes in the pilot program that held a series of free collection events. “One of our residents has been trying to get rid of his couch for months and he finally had a chance to at a recent event.”
The program, which lasts until March 2015, is designed to address the barriers and find creative solutions to reduce illegal dumping.
“For instance, research showed that the inconvenience of taking bulky items to the landfill was one of the biggest barriers and hence large items were often dumped on the streets or in the desert,” Lucha said. “In addition, many people didn’t think illegal dumping was bad because someone else picked it up for reuse or the City eventually cleaned it up. People often dumped items during spring cleaning or when they moved. The city has incorporated all these findings into the pilot and ad campaigns.”
The city launched a radio and billboard ad campaign to draw attention to the problem and encourage people to report illegal dumping by calling the Illegal Dumping hotline at 1-888-8-dumping.
For more information about illegal dumping, call 661-267-5353.