Kevin Faulconer
Mayor Kevin Faulconer at an illegal dump site. Courtesy mayor’s office

As part of his “Clean SD” initiative, Mayor Kevin Faulconer announced Thursday the city has increased the maximum fine for illegally dumping trash or waste to $1,000.

A new penalty structure went into effect March 6 and a dozen citations have already been issued for illegal dumping, which is one of the most reported complaints through the city’s “Get It Done” application.

The Clean SD initiative is a citywide cleanup effort focused on removing trash and debris from neighborhoods and the San Diego River.

“Everyone deserves to live in a clean and beautiful neighborhood and that’s why we’re focusing on removing trash dumped in public areas,” Faulconer said. “We will not allow people to trash our neighborhoods and this new fine structure will deliver stiff penalties to anybody who thinks dumping their garbage on the street corner is acceptable behavior.”

The San Diego Municipal Code authorizes enforcement officials to issue administrative citations for violations, using their discretion based on a penalty matrix. The new matrix sets fines of between $100 and $1,000.

“The city’s Environmental Services Department is stepping up our code enforcement citations in support of the mayor’s new initiative,” said Environmental Services Director Mario X. Sierra. “By taking a more aggressive approach to eliminate illegal dumping in San Diego neighborhoods and rights-of-way, this will support our efforts to keep San Diego streets clean and free of unwanted debris.”

In addition to increased fines, the San Diego Police Department has stepped up its patrols around known hotspots for illegal dumping. They have also installed cameras at two of the hotspots to help catch violators and are evaluating other locations.