County partnership with San José Conservation Corps is using $2 million in state funds to clean up trash strewn on streets, curbs, freeway ramps and other dumping sites
SANTA CLARA COUNTY, CALIF. — Got your eyes on an eyesore? Spotted a clandestine dumping hotspot? A new County website allows concerned residents and visitors to report potential sites that could use the attention of a cleanup crew.
The portal, accessible at www.cleanupscc.org, helps guide the ongoing use of $2 million in state funds to clean up notorious dump sites throughout Santa Clara County. Since the funds – secured for the County by State Sen. Dave Cortese (D-San José) – were received last November, there have been about 200 cleanups that collected:
- 30 tons of solid waste
- 200 pounds of recyclable material
- 52 tires
- 20 mattresses
- 613 bulky items, such as furniture and appliances
- 344 pounds of electronic waste
“The difference at these sites before and after a cleanup is amazing,” said Supervisor Cindy Chavez. “Keeping our community clean is a collective effort, and now, we’re very excited to let the public know that they have a way to report spots anywhere in the county that have become magnets for trash and dumping.”
The grant, from CalRecycle, is managed by the County’s Consumer and Environmental Protection Agency and contracted to the San José Conservation Corps (SJCC). It is strictly for refuse removal and does not involve the clearing of homeless encampments. SJCC has been sending out two crews, four days per week, to clean up various locations throughout the county. Previously, sites had either been selected by local municipalities or spotted by SJCC crews in the field.
“This grant has been a tremendous boon for our ongoing efforts to remove litter throughout the county,” said Edgar Nolasco, Director of the County’s Consumer and Environmental Protection Agency. “We recognize and appreciate all efforts to secure funding toward a cleaner Santa Clara County.”
Locations with a significant amount of chronic littering/illegal dumping or pose a safety risk to the community and environment will be prioritized for cleanup first, as opposed to areas with small amounts of litter.
The countywide litter abatement program officially started in November 2022 and will end in April 2024. The program has spent approximately 28% of the total program budget from November through the end of March.
“Litter on the ground harms the environment and impacts public health — and it hurts community morale,” said Sen. Cortese. “In 2021, I helped secure $2 million in the state budget to help the County clean up trash from local streets and along state highways. Since the County started its grant-funded litter abatement program, they have cleared 30 tons of solid waste from the ground. That’s great progress, and these efforts are getting better and better.”