Illegal dump gets clean sweep in South San Jose

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One of the biggest illegal dump sites in the Bay Area is finally being cleaned up.

Over the years, the sliver of land between the Union Pacific railroad tracks and old Monterey Highway in South San Jose has become an illegal dump, for everything from mattresses to tires. Even cars have been left here over the years.

One of the biggest illegal dump sites in the Bay Area sits in South San Jose, complete with tires, cars and matresses.
Photo credit Matt Bigler/KCBS Radio

Since the coronavirus pandemic started, home improvement projects have ticked up.

"They’re cleaning it and they're dumping the stuff somewhere," said Paul Pereira, Senior Policy Advisor with San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo's office. "This has grown into a giant dump pile."

Pereira estimated it will take all week to clean up the dumping zone.

There are a few homeless folks who call this area home.

Joe told KCBS Radio he's tired of being blamed for all the garbage.

"We have, sometimes, four or five trucks a night pull in, dump their garbage and leave," he said.

But Pereira said they are not forcing anyone to move out, unless it's a health hazard. "We’re cleaning around them, so we’re not exactly kicking them out," he added.

Pereira said they plan to install K-Rails and cameras to deter illegal dumpers.

The clean-up operations began Monday.