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Brazen, illegal trash dumping in Oakland caught on camera

OAKLAND — Officials say illegal dumping costs the city of Oakland tens of millions of dollars each year.

An Oakland man shared his cell phone video with CBS News Bay Area to show how bad the problem is. The video showed a man dumping a truck full of roofing construction debris into a parking lot. The truck bore the logo of a Concord-based tree trimming company.

The parking lot is located adjacent to the Oakport Football Field and the Martin Luther King Jr. Regional Shoreline Waterfront Trail.

The witness, who wished to remain anonymous for security reasons, said it happened on Tuesday around 3:30 p.m. He said there were other cars and people in the parking lot.

“When he was looking around to see if anyone was looking at him, that’s when I decided to take out my phone and record to see if he was going to throw it away. And, sure enough, he opened the doors, he just “He kind of looked around, started throwing it, closed his doors and sped off,” said the witness, a longtime Oakland resident .

In addition to recording video of the truck unloading the trash on his cell phone, the witness took photos of the truck and the license plate. The witness said he immediately reported the problem to 311.

He was outraged that someone with a company truck would trash his town.

“Going there as a kid to these fields and watching my friends and I play a little football, I grew up here. I love my city,” the witness said.

The truck bears the logo of Galindo Tree Care of Concord.

Owner José Galindo said he had nothing to do with the illegal dumping. In an email response, he wrote: “I rented my dump truck last Tuesday. I didn’t know the guy was throwing trash everywhere.”

When CBS News Bay Area asked Galindo for a copy of the lease agreement, he was unable to immediately provide one. On the company’s website, nowhere does it say that truck rental is part of the business. The website listed tree removal as the company’s primary service.

A man also called CBS News Bay Area to say he was the person seen throwing trash and that he was renting the truck from Galindo Tree Care. He said an Oakland city worker asked him to throw construction debris into the parking lot. He could not provide the worker’s name or any proof of his claim.

“I don’t think it’s true. I think he’s just lying to cover it up,” the witness said. “I don’t think a company with its logo, its contractor’s license, would rent a truck to just anyone because their insurance won’t cover that person in the event of an accident.”

After CBS News Bay Area shared the video with a city spokesperson Friday, an inspector came to investigate the incident. Public Works sent two trucks to remove construction debris and a large pile of dirt.

The city reported on its website that in 2023 it had issued at least 405 citations to illegal dumping violators. The city reported that during the 2021-2022 fiscal year, public works crews picked up 17,000 tons of trash, which equates to 34 million pounds of trash.

“I feel bad. Whole families come here on Sundays to play on the fields,” said Juan Rodriguez, an Oakland resident and park fan.

Many families park in the lot to go play football at Oakport Field or walk the nearby waterfront trail.

“A lot of trash ends up in the water. As soon as it starts raining or something happens, it ends up in the bay,” Rodriguez said.

The witness who shot the video asks others to help keep Oakland clean.

“Take out your camera, record them and report them. Let’s make our city a little better,” the witness said.

A city spokesperson said the ticket for illegal dumping can cost up to $1,000, in addition to the costs of cleaning up the waste.