Initiative utilizes smart phone technology to report illegal dumping and graffiti in neighborhoods
SAN FRANCISCO (April 13, 2011)– City Attorney Dennis Herrera today announced the launch of the Lets Do It SF! initiative, in partnership with the Department of Public Works , SF Environment, and 311. Following the recent lawsuits against illegal dumpers in the City, the continuing partnership between the City Attorney’s Office and Department Public Works aims to tackle the increasing incidents of illegal dumping and graffiti across San Francisco. Let’s Do it SF! aims to empower local residents to use smartphone applications to report vandalism and to encourage volunteer cleanup participation.
“What we are doing in San Francisco with the Let’s Do It SF! initiative, along with the use of smart phone technology, will enhance neighborhood beautification and show the power of collective civic action,” said Herrera. “Our proactive approach to cleaning up our streets serves as a warning to would-be polluters that San Francisco residents do not tolerate environmental and social injustice and we take pride in our neighborhoods.”
The City Attorney’s Office also launched a companion website, LetsDoItSF.org to support the initiative. Starting today, San Francisco residents can download a smartphone application or use the website to map existing blighted locations. The website will collect data which will help City departments target areas where frequent illegal dumping and graffiti occur. The site will also highlight volunteer opportunities, existing bulky item collection resources, and feature guest blogs. Those without smart phones may still make a report by either calling 3-1-1 or visiting http://www.sfgov.org/311.
In honor of Earth Day, City Attorney’s Office will join DPW’s Community Clean Team at Victoria Manalo Draves Park on Saturday, April 16th, from 9 a.m. to noon to clean and green District 6. In addition to staff with the City Attorney’s Office, volunteers including those from other city agencies, residents, merchants and students will sweep up litter, plant and tend to neighborhood trees, paint out graffiti and help take care of our schools, parks, and community gardens and help beautify San Francisco.
“Illegal sidewalk dumping degrades our neighborhoods and quality of life. Smartphone features will enhance the public’s ability to report illegal dumping and allow us to quickly address incidents so that we minimize the length of time items are left on the sidewalk” said Ed Reiskin, Director of Public Works. “Public Works encourages the public to learn more about free and low cost resources for the collection of unwanted items and to also get involved through our community service volunteer programs.”
Established in 2008, the “Let’s Do It!” campaign began with a visionary mobile waste-mapping effort in Estonia, which culminated in a countrywide cleanup in which more than 50,000 volunteers cleaned 10,000 tons of waste in a matter of hours. Let’s Do It SF! encourages a similar spirit of bold volunteerism and joins a global effort in support of the upcoming World Cleanup Day, a plan to stage massive single-day cleanups in more than a hundred participating countries starting March 24, 2012.
Last year, the Department of Public Works launched an education campaign called ‘Don’t Leave it on the Sidewalk’ to end illegal dumping in San Francisco; a practice that costs taxpayers millions of dollars every year and increases blight in the neighborhood. The campaign provides information about quick, easy and free ways to dispose of bulky items and information about legally required refuse service and mandatory recycling. It also encourages residents to report large scale illegal dumping activity such those that include large amounts of construction and sometimes toxic materials by calling and now sending to 3-1-1. For more information, visit the Department of Public Works at www.sfdpw.org.