It’s Operation Cleanup time in central Fresno, and city workers and residents are taking part in the popular program that allows citizens to get rid of junk they have been saving up for the past year without an expensive, time-consuming trip to the dump.
But Operation Cleanup doesn’t come without some vexations for residents who take to social media to complain about a seemingly endless parade of trash pickers who stream down their streets, upsetting neatly stacked piles of throwaways at all hours of the day and night.
The program also comes with a set of problems for the city as well. That includes those who leave items curbside that the city warns on its website’s “dos and dont’s” cannot be collected, such as tires and more than two wheelbarrow loads of rocks or bricks.
And then, there are cars, or at least parts of them, such as the one deposited overnight on Palm Avenue between McKinley and Olive avenues.
“It can be troubling sometimes,” said Jerry Schuber, assistant director of public utilities for the city, talking about vehicles and other items left in hope that they will be collected along with that pile of leaves or tree branches. That includes trailers and broken-down boats.
Schuber said the city tries to work with residents and avoid issuing costly citations for violators.
“We work with code enforcement,” he said, adding that illegal dumping citations are possible for those who ignore the rules.
But, “the goal is to get people … doing it correctly.”
Schuber said the city’s FresGo app, which allows residents to use their smartphones and tablets to alert the city to problems, is keeping workers busy handling such issues. He estimates that it has added 5 tons to the city’s waste collection total.
But, “it’s a good thing,” he added.