Some of the most common things I find is old televisions (the bulky tube TVs) and soiled mattresses. I sometimes find drawers and cabinets, while others are e-waste like computers and monitors.
Dumping items on the street is illegal. Our streets are not places where you can dump your used personal property and it's a free-for-all for people to grab the freebies. Dumping stuff on the streets is a huge eyesore and makes our streets look ugly.
Anyway, nobody wants a used mattress. I don't even want to know what the hell is that stain on it. Do you like a computer? How about one full of someone's personal information and possibly a virus?
I try to do my best as a local citizen to get those illegally dumped items removed. I always give a quick tweet or call to San Francisco 311 so it can be picked-up, but for every time the city has to do it, it comes with a high cost. DPW's clean-up trucks go around the city picking-up illegally dumped items from requests from the general public and whatever they find when they pass by. One time, I called 311 to report a huge TV on the street corner, and due to its size, they have to bring two city employees to remove it because who wants to pay workers comp for a back injury?
Here's some ways to fight back:
- If you find someone illegally dumping, call the cops: (415) 553-0123.
- If you find illegally dumped items, call: 311 or (415) 701-2311. You can remain anonymous.
- Humiliate people who do it: Tape a sign on the illegally dumped item stating: "Illegally dumped, SHAME ON YOU!" You could also post a sign on a nearby lamppost saying: "To those who illegally dump, I know who you are."
How to get rid of large & bulky items (legally):
- See if a local charity organization is having a pick-up. In my neighborhood, we get a courtesy card every couple of months of a charity asking for donations. Usually, huge items like mattresses are not welcomed, but they may accept large electronic items like TVs and computers.
- Keep an eye out for drive thru drop-off events in your area. Some of them are available to anyone, regardless of what neighborhood or city you live in. In other cases, you must live in a particular neighborhood to utilize the service. Be aware, there may be certain limitations on what you can drop-off.
- Goodwill locations are usually happy to accept a lot of items, that is, if you are willing to haul it and carry it yourself.
- Contact Recology (a.k.a. Sunset Scavenger & Golden Gate) for pickup. If you have trash service in the city, you get free junk removal. The freebie pick-ups depends on the service the company provides (homes, apartments, multi-unit buildings, etc.), but each pick-up can be up to ten items. They can collect all kinds of items, and usually more than what other services will do for you. For more information, click here.