STOCKTON, Calif. (KTXL) -- San Joaquin County says illegal dumping and blight isn’t happening solely in the cities, but it’s also happening in rural areas.
It’s a serious problem the county is trying to get a handle on, and they’re hoping the new program, Clean San Joaquin, will help.
“It makes our city look disgusting. Like you don’t care,” founder of Stockton 209 Cares Nancy Lamb told FOX40.
Lamb says she organizes community cleanups three days a week to help combat the problem.
The county says in 2019, they’ve gotten numerous complaints about the mounds of trash, tires and household appliances found littered throughout the county.
“We’re seeing tires, we're seeing sheetrock, refrigerators, roofing – you know, a lot of stuff from demolitions,” Lamb said.
Clean San Joaquin recently launched a new website where people can call or report, not just litter and illegal dumping, but graffiti and abandoned cars and vessels as well.
“We have to start with kind of cultural change to make people understand that it’s not okay to throw wrappers out the window or to dump illegally,” San Joaquin County Supervisor Chuck Winn said.
Winn says last year public workers spent more than a million dollars on clean-up efforts, but with Clean San Joaquin, the county will work with cities, volunteers and non-profit organizations to respond to problem areas.
“When those neighborhoods are cleaned up people take notice and are more responsible for not throwing stuff or dropping stuff in their neighborhoods,” Winn said.
A cleaner county isn’t just about beautification. It’s also about public safety, community pride and a more prosperous San Joaquin County.
“If it’s cleaned up more people are going to want to be here, more businesses are going to want to be here,” Lamb said.