With Three New Incidents (and One Fire), Illegal Dumping Epidemic Plagues Bernal Hill




That’s the only word that describes the feelings many of your neighbors experienced today when they awoke this morning to find another trash pile dumped on Bernal Hill. Last night’s was a doozy: The mess is so extensive that it blocks the southbound lane of Folsom at the intersection with Bernal Heights Boulevard.

Even worse, that was not the only new eyesore. On Friday night, someone dumped a pile of lawn trimmings and demolition debris a hundred yards east along Bernal Heights Blvd. between the Folsom parking lot and Carver Street. Then they set the pile ablaze.


One of our hilltop neighbors describes what he saw:

I woke up to a fire on Folsom in front of Bernal Hill Park. Someone had dumped and then set some debris on fire. Awesome. I called 911 and then walked outside to get a closer look but forgot my phone inside so no photos. Thankfully a fire truck arrived a couple minutes after I called and put it out before it could spread onto the hill.

And that’s not all. It appears someone dumped even more trash along the boulevard last night, leaving a miserable trail of household debris that stretches east from the burned-out trash pile all the way to the Vista Pointe Mini-Park:


Here’s a video that shows what it looked like to drive west along the boulevard this morning:

It’s like the frikkin’ early 1970s up there. Horrible.

So that’s FOUR illegal dumping incidents within one week. Yet if there is an upside to this string of horrors, it’s the fact that law-enforcement has taken notice. Bernalwood will not divulge details here, for fear of compromising any ongoing investigations, but suffice to say that more than one agency is involved. And of course, if you have ANY information that might be useful to the investigators who are pursuing these vile trash-dumping goons, you can send it to us at the usual email address. Bernalwood will ensure that all promising leads are forwarded to the authorities.


PHOTOS: Telstar Logistics. Video courtesy of a Bernal neighbor.

37 thoughts on “With Three New Incidents (and One Fire), Illegal Dumping Epidemic Plagues Bernal Hill

  1. My goodness! This situation is totally out of control. I do hope that this comes to an end soon. What exactly is the penalty for dumping trash? And setting it on fire? The fire part MUST change it from a penalty to some sort of more serious crime, wouldn’t you think?

  2. Wow, this really sucks. And it is more evidence that dumping begets dumping.

  3. My bet is that a neighbor set the fire hoping that an investigation by the fire department would be more likely to bear fruit than an investigation by DPW.

    • That seems a lot less likely than the dumper just trying to burn their garbage (and destroy evidence in the process).

    • I seriously doubt a “neighbor” would set a pile of trash at the base of the burnable bernal hill on fire. imagine if the whole hill had caught on fire. now i say, fuck it. we need cameras everywhere. this is disgusting.

  4. WRITE YOUR SUPERVISOR, David Campos. Tell him to make it a priority. Also call the cops, complain to them to set up some kind of surveillance. Seems like this happens once a week, you could probably catch the son’vabitch

  5. What about putting together a neighborhood fund and buying camera/streaming equipment for the local houses with a good view of dump sites?

  6. Awful! Time for the Eye of Sautrito. Or I’ll chip in some $ for a surveillance camera at the Helipad.

  7. While a neighbor sponsored camera would be great, what really stinks is that this should be handled by the authorities. It is illegal activity that has been repeated over and over! Our tax dollars pay for the police, and in the end, our tax dollars are also paying for the clean up of this trash! I agree with Andy! Email Supervisor Campos! If enough people complain, maybe something will actually get done (if for no other reason then to get us to stop pestering him about it) http://www.sfbos.org/index.aspx?page=2129

  8. Hire someone with a front end loader and a truck to move the piles to Campos’ street every time.

  9. Put a weight sensor in the middle of the parking space that pings the police the moment it gets triggered. It would only be set off by a lot of weight, ie construction debris, and not someone walking across it. Activate it only at night, when people shouldn’t be parking or walking there anyway. This preserves privacy and gets the police immediately involved. I have no idea where to get a weight sensor that could alert the authorities, though. But if the police act quickly, this could theoretically catch them in the act, or at the very least, catch them before they get to cesar. Ooh or install one of those red light cameras, where the weight turns on a bright light and a camera takes a bunch of pictures of the scene, so that it only takes pictures when it needs to, not constantly streaming all night long.

  10. Setup a fake check point for a few nights. Get some volunteers to dawn those neon yellow vests construction workers wear. Then lay out some orange cones on the road to slow traffic down a bit. Similar to all construction zones throughout the city (ooh, have the Telstar Logistics Jeep out there since it looks the part). Stand (or sit) out there with flash lights. Don’t stop any cars, just stop trucks. Let the driver know that due to illegal dumping, you’re taking down the trucks info (license plate, make/model). Take a few photos of the truck’s cargo and let them go. Maybe another check point at the other end of the street as well. I would totally do this if I lived in Bernal Heights, but I don’t.

    • Yeah…that’s definitely not illegal. “Papers please, citizen.”

      • well, it would be illegal if done by the authorities. and no one has to hand over papers to a private citizen. and its illegal to impersonate the police. but other than that, probably totally fine.

    • I’ve been dying to wear my sexy check point man’s outfit. This is the perfect excuse.

  11. I just saw this item and want you to know that we have alerted the Department of Public Works and the Police Department of the situation. Illegal dumping is unacceptable. I want to thank Bernalwood and everyone who informed us of this matter. We will do everything we can to deal with this promptly and will continue to monitor the situation. Thank you again.

    • What does that mean? Can you be more specific? We need concrete measures to address what is becoming a chronic problem. It’s a stain on our beautiful neighborhood.

      • DPW and the police (as well as local TV news) have been alerted for months. As you can see, Bernalwood has been monitoring the situation (and doing our own detective work) so we hope you are going above and beyond.

    • While you are at it, Supervisor Campos, can you get someone to actually address the 311 post I submitted on February 22nd regarding the unsafe, broken roadside guardrail along Bradford between Nevada and Chapman? Tracking number on the 311 site is 1070249.

      • Good luck. I’ve been waiting for a street lite shade forever..and there was a PG&E tech on Bradford Street a while ago and when I asked if he could assist me he said, “Dunno”.

  12. What a drag. wish people used their energy for more productive ventures//it will end

    • As you can see, the dumping has encouraged more dumping and arson. It is a drag, and it will only get worse. A street that looks like $#1+ will be treated as such. Also, I believe having concerned neighbors is wonderful. We’re lucky to live in an area where people care actively.

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  14. Maybe the people who live in that new white house with the roof deck at the top of Folsom could install a camera or something. Seems to be a visible angle from there. Just a suggestion.

    • Maybe there’s a new one on there. Just saying. Also, don’t get too excited. It’s not as great a vantage point as everyone assumes it is. At this point, we’ll try anything.

  15. Particularly on weekends coming up Folsom St you see a lot of pick-up trucks with the wood slats piled high with garbage & construction debris. Of course, there is no license plate on the truck. Most likely day workers dropping off their trash instead of bringing to the recycling place. From what I have seen of Supervisor Campos (more specific lack of), he really hasn’t done anything to address the quality of life problems in Bernal Heights & in District 9 as a whole for that matter.

    • Supervisor Campos will be at The Lucky Horseshoe on Cortland this Saturday 4-6.

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