San Francisco Baykeeper recently received a call to our pollution hotline from a concerned resident who was biking in Redwood City. She noticed oil on the street next to several garbage collection locations and eventually spotted oil near almost every house's collection site throughout several neighborhoods. She called us, and we immediately contacted Redwood City to track down the source of the problem.
The City notified its garbage and recycling company, Recology, which promptly began an investigation. The company determined which truck had been leaking and repaired the problem. Recology also started a new training program for its employees to help them recognize and respond to oil or fuel leaks from their trucks. Redwood City staff documented the incident and will be on the lookout for any future problems.
Oil that's left on roadways will eventually be washed into storm drains, where contaminants and polluted storm water get emptied into local creeks and the Bay without being filtered or treated.
Thanks to an observant resident and to Redwood City and Recology's quick and effective action, one source of potential Bay pollution has been prevented. If you see pollution in your neighborhood, please call Baykeeper's hotline at 1-800-KEEP-BAY, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our online incident report here.