By Staff Reports
(Victor Valley)– Inmate workers have begun cleaning up a massive illegal dump that has blighted unincorporated Apple Valley for years, San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Vice Chair Robert A. Lovingood announced Thursday.
Piles of roofing tiles, broken concrete, mounds of tires, debris and even several boats cover much of the 66-acre illegal dump near Interstate 15 and Dale Evans parkway.
“My colleagues on the Board of Supervisors and I have allocated funds to get this site cleaned up,” Supervisor Lovingood said. “This is part of my ongoing initiative to put inmates to work cleaning up the High Desert.”
Lovingood said the concrete and asphalt roofing shingles will be recycled, and the tires will be used as fuel at a local cement plant.
“We’re saving taxpayer dollars by using inmate workers,” Lovingood said. “And we’re saving more by recycling and reducing the amount of debris that goes into the landfill.”
In 2015, Lovingood proposed an initiative to use inmate workers to clean up trash and illegal dump sites around the desert. From August 2015 through Dec. 31, 2015, San Bernardino County inmate crews collected 94.5 tons of trash and 1,980 tires in the First District. The inmate workers will be supervised by County Code Enforcement officers.
San Bernardino County Fire Department’s Inmate Hand Crew will be assisting with the Apple Valley cleanup project overseen by San Bernardino County Code Enforcement. The operation is expected to take four to five weeks. Because of the scale of the cleanup, San Bernardino County Fire Department’s Heavy Equipment Program will provide six pieces of heavy equipment including three skid steers, two dump trucks, one front-end loader and one bulldozer. Crew 61 will also be on hand to assist with the cleanup.
“San Bernardino County’s Code Enforcement team has a difficult job,” Lovingood said. “So when you see a crew out there, just remember that Code Enforcement is helping clean up the community.”
Apple Valley Mayor Barb Stanton said, “Illegal dumps are offensive to everyone. We all appreciate the County’s efforts in addressing this blighted area near the north entrance to our Town.”
Once the site is cleaned up, San Bernardino County Code Enforcement is looking to install video cameras to identify illegal dumpers. Lovingood urges residents to take advantage of free bulky item pick-up service through local cities and disposal companies.
Property owners are the primary victims of illegal dumping and are responsible for their own property. The County spends hundreds of thousands of dollars to clean up illegal dumping and hazardous waste. The County also holds regular community clean-up and recycling events. Property owners are encouraged to take steps to prevent illegal dumping on their property. Signs, physical barriers and routine cleaning are proven deterrents.
Lovingood encouraged residents to get involved by reporting illegal dumping. For crimes in progress, call your local law enforcement agency. Gather as much information as possible, including photos and video. But use caution if you come into contact with an individual illegally dumping.
San Bernardino County Code Enforcement has a smart phone app that makes it easy to report illegal dumping and graffiti in unincorporated areas. The app is available for the iPhone and Droid by searching “SB Code.” Most trash haulers offer free bulky item pickups. Contact your disposal company for details. For residents of unincorporated areas, San Bernardino County dump cards to provide free access to county dumps.
For information on disposing of household hazardous waste such as poisons, paints, fertilizers, used motor oil, e-waste, etc. and information on transportation limits in San Bernardino County, please call 1-800-OILYCAT (645-9228) or click on http://www.sbcfire.org/hazmat/hhw.aspx