It’s happened again. Someone dumped another load of trash at the entrance to Bernal Heights Park. Last time that happened, I was about thisclose to buying one of these and posting it myself in the parking area:
I’ve actually already got the camera that matches the sign. But more on that later. In the comments at Bernalwood, r2 from Ingleside writes:
We did put up a “no dumping sign,” and it has helped to a point. You can actually call 311.org and they will send you the standard SF department of public works “no dumping” sign. However, it’s on you to install it. I would suggest a t-post with a t-post driver. Lowes sells flat pieces of sheet metal that you can stick the sign to. It’s probably about 15 minutes of actual work to put together.
Sure enough, I called 311 at 1:37 on a Friday afternoon, and DPW dropped them off on Saturday at 1:32 pm. So that’s pretty good service. The signs are printed on adhesive-backed plastic, about as thick and stiff as poster board.
“Violators subject to arrest and fines up to $1,000.” Yeah, but the dumpers already know that dumping is illegal. The other sign suggests a method by which they might get caught. The dilemma is that many people (myself included) are reluctant to cede any more public space to the ubiquitous CCTV cameras. And, as DPW writes (page 10):
Past pilot studies of utilizing cameras in hotspots proved cost prohibitive with minimal results.
Cost prohibitive? Not my camera! It runs for three months on two AA batteries, could be installed in minutes on the notice board at the park entrance, and only cost $11. The only bad news is it’s fake.
So my proposal won’t actually catch any dumpers. It might deter some, though. And it’s compatible with a real surveillance system. Think of the $11 notice board camera as a sacrificial decoy. A camouflaged game camera could snap a picture of anyone who tries to disable it, for example. Or an infrared camera higher up the hill could watch over both the notice board and parking area. Is that too Big Brother-ish? Or what’s that other literary reference about the all-seeing eye?
(Bottom photo-illustration borrows from Craig Sakowitz‘s photo at the Bernalwood Flickr group.)