State awards over $2.3 million in Clean Streets Initiative

HAYWARD, CA — The Alameda County District Attorney’s Office announces it is the recipient of the California Department of Transportation Clean California local grant for over $2.3 million that will help clean up streets and combat illegal dumping.

The District Attorney’s Office recognizes that illegal dumping is an environmental justice issue that disproportionately impacts disadvantaged communities. One of the most difficult and complex challenges in addressing illegal dumping is dumping at or near homeless communities; People often dump their trash in areas where unhoused persons live.

“Illegal dumping has a direct impact on someone’s quality of life. It can lead to urban blight, risks in public health, individual safety and environmental impacts on neighborhoods,” said District Attorney Nancy O’Malley. “We as a community, as a government agency, want to send the message that these communities riddled with garbage and trash are not forgotten: we live here, and we care about keeping our neighborhoods safe and clean.”

Caltrans’ Clean California Grant will support a new partnership between the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, the Downtown Streets Team (DST), Waste Management, and local recycler Argent Materials. DST will provide continuous litter and graffiti abatement services in Hayward and East Oakland. Both Waste Management and Argent Materials will provide for disposal of the waste collected. The project, which will also include a public awareness campaign, is expected to be completed by June 30, 2024.

DST is non-profit that engages unhoused persons in community beautification and litter abatement in their neighborhoods and provides DST team members with job training and other services to help find pathways out of homelessness.

The Environmental Unit of the District Attorney’s Office will provide support and oversight of the program, including coordination with the Alameda County Illegal Dumping Task Force, of which the cities of Oakland and Hayward are active members.

The District Attorney’s Office has worked on numerous innovative measures to reduce the problem of illegal dumping plaguing our communities, often in conjunction with Alameda

County Supervisor Nate Miley’s Alameda County Illegal Dumping Taskforce. In 2021, the District Attorney’s Office and the taskforce dedicated a day of action to the “Three E’s of Illegal Dumping: Education, Eradication, and Enforcement,” in East Oakland. Law enforcement handed out citations for illegal dumping activity. Penalties for illegal dumping vary based on the severity of the crime, and can range from fines, to community service picking up trash, to jail time.