Drive along any deserted part of town and you may not be surprised to find an illegally dumped mattress. These bulky pieces of furniture can’t be disposed of in regular trash pick-ups, often leading residents to sneak to a quiet location to drop off their mattresses.
Dumping garbage on public property is illegal in California. Perpetrators who are caught face fines of up to $3,000. The practice of placing a “free” sign on unwanted items dumped on the sidewalk does not grant the offending party immunity from the law.
This penalty didn’t stop two men in a Toyota Minibus from illegally dumping a mattress at Mussel Rock Beach Park in Pacifica on Sunday. A paraglider took a photo of the men and was also able to get the car’s license plate number.
Over in North Fair Oaks, in unincorporated Redwood City, local officials have been working with various Sheriff’s departments to increase monitoring of problematic areas. Manual Ramirez of the North Fair Oaks Council said garbage clean-up was his number one priority, and that the Public Works Department should increase communication with the Sheriff’s deputies whenever an incident occurs.
“We want to educate the people about this problem,” Ramirez said. “But we also want to warn people that they won’t get away with this.”
Companies like SleepTrain and Mancini’s provide a free recycling program when someone purchases a mattress from them. However, many residents are purchasing their mattress online or from one-way retailers, who do not have recycling policies once customers need to dispose of their mattress.
Recology will collect mattresses from residential units for free at two free clean-ups per year. The rate charged at the Transfer Station is $19, which increased in January 2011, according to Lillian Clark of the Public Works Department. The extra charge if you have used your two free clean-ups is $82.92.
Tell us in the comments: how should the county further discourage illegal mattress dumping?
More on Patch:
In Sync: Chef and Sommelier Design Perfect Pairing
Pacifica Man Killed By Hit-and-Run Driver Wednesday
Update: Search Suspended for Family Who Abandoned Sinking Sailboat