Cash handouts to clean up US dump sites

A Californian government agency has approved more than $2.3 million (£1.63 million) in grants to clean up illegal dump sites in the state.

The handouts from California Integrated Waste Management Board, a state waste management agency, will be used to clean up public land, including parks and recreational areas in five areas.

Board chairman Margo Reid Brown said: "The board is committed to protecting the health and safety of the public, as well as the vast recreational resources available to every Californian.

"These grants help communities that are in need of funds to rehabilitate parks and baseball fields and to clean up illegal dump sites."

The five sites awarded cleanup grants in last month's announcement include:

  • City of Oceanside, a beachfront community in northern San Diego County, which gets $729,900 (£517,000) to clean up burn ash from former burn dump converted into baseball fields. Investigations showed potential health hazards to players, forcing games to be played elsewhere.

  • Imperial Irrigation District, the USA's largest irrigation district, which serves farmland in southern California, receives $750,000 (£531,700) to clean up five illegal dump sites along the New River in rural Imperial County. County officials estimate residents have been illegally dumping rubbish in the sites for more than 80 years resulting in "a serious and ongoing health problem for county citizens" and contamination of waterways.

  • Truckee Sanitary District, one of the oldest sanitary districts in the state, gets $645,000 (£457,000) to remove concentrations of heavy metals, including copper and lead, from a former burn dump site in the Truckee River Regional Park. The intention is to prevent contamination of Truckee River and groundwater.

  • City of Huron, a small town in Fresno County, will receive $145,816 (£103,000) to clean up illegal dumping sites and install surveillance camera, lights and signs. The money will also be used for extra fencing to stop dumpers and for a mail out of educational material warning residents of illegal dumping penalties and listing legal dump sites.

  • San Diego County gets $78,500 (£56,000) to remove debris from years of illegal dumping, including concrete and asphalt, into the Los Coches Creek.

  • The cash handouts come from the board's Farm and Ranch Solid Waste Cleanup and Abatement Grant Programme, for the the cleanup of sites posing a risk to public health or the environment.

    They are given out when no responsible party can be found or is unable or unwilling to pay the costs.

    For more details visit the CIWMB website at

    David Gibbs



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