Homeowner Goes On Vacation, Comes Home To Toxic Waste All Over Front Yard

SACRAMENTO (CBS 13) – A Natomas woman returned home from a week-long Tahoe vacation to find her lawn covered in hazardous waste. But when she reached out to the county and city, it seemed that no one could tell her exactly what to do.

“Well, I was horrified!” said Kate Campbell. “Premium Hydraulic Oil. It has a hazard warning sign on it.”

A total of six buckets full of oil, metalworking fluid concentrate and blue latex paint were splattered on her fence and grass.

“I’ve taken a lot of the planting that was out here,” Campbell said. “I will have to continue to clean this up. That was about six weeks ago.”

And Monday, it happened a second time.

“I was so angry, that it happened again!” she said. “I didn’t see who did it. I don’t have a description of a vehicle, I can’t describe any person.”

Campbell said it left her furious so she called the non-emergency Sacramento Police line and their response took her by surprise.

“If it’s on my property, it’s my problem,” she said.

She said they suggested she take the buckets out to the hazardous waste facility on Bradshaw, which is 25 miles away from her home. Then, she called Sacramento County’s 311 line.

“They said ‘well you live in the city, we can’t help you,’” she said. “I called the city, they said ‘well that’s not a service we provide, we can’t help you.’”

So CBS13 reached out to several city departments to find out what to do if it happens to you.

Erin Treadwell, Spokesperson for the Department of Public Works said “the department only collects waste on the public right of way. They do not go onto private property.” According to Officer Matt McPhail, Sacramento Police Department, “If there’s property damage, then it could be considered vandalism. But with no evidence, a criminal investigation would be limited.” And the city’s Code Enforcement Department said that dumping on private property is not a violation of city code.

Now Campbell plans to invest in her own security system just in case it happens a third time.

“This is going to cost me literally thousands of dollars,” Campbell said.

She said the city did offer to give her a voucher to cover the cost of taking her items to the waste facility and she’s still trying to find any video on the street that can give her an idea of what happened when she was away.

The City of Sacramento has a feature on their website called the Waste Wizard. You can type in the items that you want to get rid of and it will tell you where to go.

More from Macy Jenkins

One Comment

  1. Manuel Negron says:

    Love the last sentence in the article. The city did exactly that to the poor homeowner. Love paying your taxes even more now????

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