ELVERTA, CA -- If candy wrappers on the side of the road bug you, this story is going to drive you nuts. It takes litter bug to a whole new level. Someone dumped a boat on the side of a North Sacramento County road which sat there for almost a month.
Jack DeWit is a rice farmer and says illegal dumping is a big problem near his farm lands in North Sacramento County. "I hate trash with a passion. I'm so opposed to people dumping, not only here on the streets but in the field, that I carry trash bags with me." Unfortunately, no matter how heavy duty, a trash bag is not going to hold the 23 foot long boat that was stripped and dumped on East Levee Road in Elverta in April.
"It makes me very angry to find someone will disregard another's property to the extent that they dump trash in the front yard. That's my front yard," adds DeWitt who says people dump everything from furniture and household trash to dead animals and cars on the rural roads near his rice fields. "Once in a while there's bodies dumped out here too," says DeWitt which get cleared-up a lot quicker than your average roadside garbage.
While News10 crews were investigating the abandoned boat, a Sacramento County worker came to pick up piles of illegally dumped tires left on the side of the road. But, hauling away an abandoned boat isn't as easy as throwing tires in the back of a pick-up truck
DeWitt and other neighbors in the area called Sacramento County to complain about the boat, but it sat there for weeks, until News10 got involved and had the boat towed within two days. But, tracking down the agency responsible for towing the boat wasn't easy.
Reclamation District 1000 is in charge of Natomas levee clean-up, but they thought the boat was stolen so they called the California Highway Patrol. The CHP ran the boat's VIN number and discovered the boat was not stolen, so they passed the boat onto Vehicle Abatement which couldn't tow the boat because they didn't have an exact address. That's when News10's Kate Larsen called a Sacramento County contact who acknowledged the problem and sent County Code Enforcement out to tow the boat right away.
News10 caught up with DeWitt who was thrilled the boat was no longer junking up his neighborhood. "Channel 10 came by and said you got a boat problem and let us help you. Within 48 hours the boat was gone. Channel 10, Kate, did a great job."
Unfortunately, the illegal dumping continues. The day after the boat was towed, bags filled with household trash were left on East Levee Road. Illegal dumping is costing tax payers a lot of money; the County of Sacramento spent about $425 thousand dollars in 2011 cleaning up roadside waste. In part, the tough economy is to blame for illegal dumping which has increased in the last several years.
In Sacramento County it costs $48 per ton to dispose of a car or boat. However, County Waste Management offers one free pick-up per year of bulky waste items, like furniture, for free. You can call Waste Management at (916) 875-5656 for more information.
If something is bugging you, email Kate Larsen at firstname.lastname@example.org