Anna Giles Reporting

STANISLAUS COUNTY (CBS13) — Families in the south Modesto area say piles of trash are taking over their driveways and streets. Stanislaus County leaders agree Illegal dumping has become a serious safety issue.

People who live in the Parklawn Neighborhood say what makes this such a health and safety issue is the type of items people are dumping, including couches, tires and even a boat.

“You don’t know what’s in that trash, you don’t know. I don’t want to know,” said Lacy Elmore, who lives near Church Lane.

Elmore starts and ends each day with trash. She drives through it and her young kids walk home through it after school. Trash fills the alleyway near her home, the only way in and out of it.

“And nails in my car, see the boards. Do you know how many tires I’ve had to replace? How much money I’ve had to spend on that?” Elmore said.

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Ruth Gil works as a waitress down the street. She says just getting into work is a hassle. She describes it as “stressful” and “dirty” and says the trash piles in the streets attract groups of people who like to dig for items they can salvage.

“A lot of people don’t like it, a lot of them coming, and a lot of customers don’t like it,” Gil said.

Stanislaus County approved a proposal to budget $100,000 for dumpsters and heavy lifting equipment Tuesday afternoon. The plan from there is to have volunteer community groups help pick up the dumped items. This would only be in unincorporated parts of the county. County supervisors are also taking a look at installing fences in front of alleyways to keep unwanted vehicles out.

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“Every week my husband tries to pick up the trash when he can to fit in our green bin but it fills up fast from our own trash at the house,” Elmore said.

The need for help is easily seen in the Parklawn Neighborhood. Elmore said this amount of trash is not something her kids should have to deal with.

“And then they get made fun of at school they’re like oh you live in a trashy alley. Well know we don’t live in a trashy alley, it puts a bad name on us,” she said.

According to a city spokesperson, if you live within Modesto city limits, you can call about illegal dumping problem areas and the city will send a garbage hauler out within 72 hours.


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