This morning (April 1) I was riding my bicycle around the Buttes over Pass Road. I ride on my own lately in order to stay isolated from other people due to the COVID-19 isolation requirements and at the same time enjoy some fresh air, exercise, and of course beautiful scenery.
When I finished riding over the Pass Road “peak” and started down into the valley going towards Colusa, I was very upset to discover someone, without any thought at all, had dumped a huge amount of trash along the right side of the road.
I actually biked on by all of this trash and then I turned around, came back, and took pictures. The more I thought about it, the more upset I became. I wondered to myself, “how could someone purposely just dump so much trash somewhere as beautiful as the Buttes and then just drive away?”
Then I thought to myself, “I really need to do something about this to bring more community attention on the individuals doing obscene dumping like this.” It occurred to me that if every citizen in Sutter County kept on the lookout for people dumping trash and reported it immediately, it would suddenly become very costly to simply use the sides of our roads as a free personal dump site. In order to accomplish this goal, I decided to do some research on what to do if a person sees someone dumping as well as some alternatives for legal disposal of large amounts of trash and what it would cost.
The first call I made was to the Sutter County Sheriff’s office. It turns out dumping on the side of the road is considered an infraction. I was not able to find out the fine for such an infraction at the time of the call, but they were definitely interested in receiving a call if someone is observed in the process of dumping along our roads. The direct line to the Sheriff’s office, which would be good to have on your cell contacts list for convenience, is 530 822-7307 or dial 0 for operator and then ask for the Sheriff’s office. Dialing 911 would be inappropriate and should only be used for life an death situations. They would like to have as good of a description as possible of the individuals involved as well as vehicles and hopefully license plate numbers. Pictures would be wonderful, but the Sheriff I spoke to highly emphasized not to put yourself in danger.
The really good news came from my second call to Recology Yuba Sutter Disposal where I found out that each citizen of Sutter County can obtain “four free passes” this year for free dumps. That is right, “FOUR FREE DUMP PASSES” this year. All you have to do is write and ask for them or go to the Recology office at the entrance to the dump in Marysville. Recology no longer sends passes out in the mail like they have in the past. This completely undercuts the so-called excuse for roadside dumping that it is just too expensive to take large items and truck load piles of trash to the dump.
It is our community and it is just sickening to see trash, furniture, beds, and you name it dumped along our roadways. Please don’t avoid making an immediate call to the Sheriff’s Department if you see dumping taking place. If you are someone who has a need to get rid of your trash, keep in mind the free coupons Recology is making available to you. It may cost you a heck of a lot less than if a Sheriff places you under arrest.
(The author is a Yuba City resident and a Sutter County bike rider.)