A $2.3 million grant that will be directed to assisting with cleaning up streets in Alameda County and combatting illegal dumping has been received by the county’s District Attorney office.

The office is receiving the grant from California Department of Transportation Clean California.

County officials said illegal dumping is an environmental justice issue and disproportionately impacts disadvantaged communities, stating that one of the most difficult and complex challenges in addressing illegal dumping is dumping at or near homeless encampments.

“Illegal dumping has a direct impact on someone’s quality of life. It can lead to urban blight, risks in public health, individual safety and environmental impacts on neighborhoods,” said Nancy O’Malley, Alameda County district attorney. “We as a community, as a government agency, want to send the message that these communities riddled with garbage and trash are not forgotten: we live here, and we care about keeping our neighborhoods safe and clean.”

Caltrans’ Clean California Grant will support a new partnership between the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office, Downtown Streets Team, Waste Management and local recycler Argent Materials. DST will provide continuous litter and graffiti abatement services in Hayward and East Oakland, and Waste Management and Argent Materials will provide for disposal of the waste collected.

The project, which will also include a public awareness campaign, is expected to be completed by June 30, 2024.

DST is non-profit organization that engages unhoused persons in community beautification and litter abatement in their neighborhoods and provides DST team members with job training and other services to help find pathways out of homelessness.

The Environmental Unit of the District Attorney’s Office will provide support and oversight of the program, including coordination with the Alameda County Illegal Dumping Task Force, of which the cities of Oakland and Hayward are active members.