California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

News Release

Office of Public Affairs

For Immediate Release: April 18, 2017
Release #2017-06
For more information contact:
Lance Klug

CalRecycle Awards $436,000 to Clear Illegal Dumpsites in Rural Areas: Four of Eight Cleanup Projects at Criminal Marijuana Grow Camps

Sacramento–The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery has awarded $436,718 in grants to help fund the cleanup of 48 illegal dumpsites across California. CalRecycle’s Farm and Ranch Solid Waste Cleanup and Abatement Grant Program distributes up to $1 million annually to clean up or abate the effects of illegally disposed waste on farm and ranch property in California. Funds can also go toward security measures to prevent future dumping.

“Illegal dumping is more than just a nuisance. These waste materials pollute valuable land that could otherwise be used to support California’s agricultural economy, protect our wildlife, and preserve our fragile ecosystems,” CalRecycle Director Scott Smithline said. “We know clearing these illegal dumpsites can help prevent future dumping and help return these properties to productive use.”

Cleanup of illegal marijuana growing sites account for half of the remediation projects funded in this grant cycle at a total cost of $251,800. Details of each grant award are listed below.

Farm and Ranch Grant Applicant Site Information Total Award
Butte County Nine-acre parcel in Berry Creek acquired by new owner in 2016, which was previously used by squatters and illegal marijuana growers. Owner removed 62 vehicles, three semi-trucks, and 140 cubic yards of waste. New funds to be used to clear remaining motor homes, appliances, tires, and trash. $50,000
Coarsegold Resource Conservation District
Sites in southern Sierra National Forest and on private property used by illegal marijuana growers zoned for agricultural use. Waste commonly found includes plastic tubing and trash left by site operators. $140,289
Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District Illegal marijuana growing operations discovered on private Bodega parcel used for grazing. Funds requested to clear plastic and metal fencing, grow pots, plastic bags, tarps, tubing, and irrigation lines. Resource conservation district to post signs and install surveillance cameras to discourage future dumping. $11,511
Mariposa County Resource Conservation District
Parcel in national forest used for illegal dumping. Funding needed to clear tires, baling wire, and miscellaneous metal and wood. Revegetation of steep roadway slope is planned to help control erosion and provide stabilization. $11,568
Placer County Overgrown vegetation obscured scale of illegal dumpsite on parcel in rural Elverta, recently acquired by new owner. Funding needed to clear 600 cubic yards of waste, including 10 large drums, 150 propane cylinders, three water heaters, automotive parts, building materials, hundreds of tires, boats, mattresses, and other trash. Post-cleanup property will be cultivated as a vineyard with new owner living on site. $50,000
Resighini Rancheria Two illegal disposal sites, zoned for agricultural use, were discovered on two separate parcels in Klamath. Sites are within the riparian floodplain of Klamath River and near two creeks that support Coho salmon. Area also used for wildlife grazing. Properties contain abandoned vehicles and trailers, some of which were burned on site. Resighini Rancheria plans ongoing surveillance to prevent future dumping. $73,350
Sonoma County Steep forestland northeast of Santa Rosa used by illegal marijuana growers, located within a tributary that supports Coho salmon and steelhead trout. Funds needed to clear 4,500 pounds of solid waste, including car batteries, irrigation tubing, tarps, and tents. Erosion control measures also needed for the property, which will soon become the Mark West Creek Regional Park and Open Space Preserve.  Grazing will continue even after the site becomes parkland. $50,000
Yolo County Resource Conservation District Portions of Babel Slough in rural Yolo County contain hundreds of illegally dumped tires, only visible when the water is low. Waste tires pose contamination danger for water in the slough, which is used to irrigate adjacent fields. The Sacramento Regional Conservation Corps will partner with the Yolo County Resource Conservation District to perform cleanup operations when the water level is at its lowest point. $50,000
Total   $436,718

Under the Farm and Ranch Cleanup program, cities, counties, federally recognized Native American tribes, and resource conservation districts may apply for up to $200,000 per fiscal year but no more than $50,000 per site. The city or county must determine that the property owner is not responsible for the dumping. Grants are funded through the state’s Integrated Waste Management Account, Tire Recycling Management Fund, and Used Oil Recycling Fund.

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CalRecycle provides oversight of California solid waste handling and recycling programs to protect human health, develop sustainable solutions that conserve resources, and reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

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