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Illegal Dumping Ad Campaign

This project evolved from a Spring 2016 effort, where SJSU students and community members cooperated on a joint project to characterize illegal dumping in three hotspot areas and educate residents. They went door to door to educate other residents about the City’s large item pickup services. Illegal dumping has increased by 75% in San José over the past several years and the flood at the beginning of 2017 added to the problem.

This year, SJSU students from John Delacruz’s capstone advertising campaigns course worked with Local Color and the Environmental Services Department to create a campaign to increase awareness about illegal dumping and the pickup services that the City of San José provides.

Students identified residents who had personal stories about their own belongings and incorporated them into a unique public advertising campaign. The SJSU students created stickers, posters and hashtags to reach out to residents.

By the Numbers | 2016-17

5 SJSU students engaged

34 residents engaged

640 hours of service

$15,450 value

Project Impact

The door to door sessions found that 87% of the community residents were not aware of the large item pickup that is provided by the City; this allowed the outreach team to educate the residents on solutions to help combat illegal dumping and provide them information of scheduled pickup dates. 44% of respondents indicated they had noticed a difference in their neighborhood since the weekend pickups had begun. 58% of the respondents said that they were likely to use the large item pickup service within the next three months.

Community Voices

“Throughout the Illegal Dumping Ad Campaign, I learned that community members do care about the problems they face in their neighborhood, and are eager to help CommUniverCity with projects like this. I’ve learned that through collaboration and persistence, positive changes can happen. Getting people to care about illegal dumping is not easy, but the partnership with the City and professor John Delacruz’s students’ showed that it is possible to find solutions.”

-CommUniverCity Project Coordinator

Illegal Dumping Assessment

In response to 75% increases in San José’s illegal dumping issue over the last three years, the City of San José Environmental Services Department initiated a collaboration in December 2015 with CommUniverCity to better understand the problem and work with residents to design and implement solutions. The Illegal Dumping project included three hotspot assessments, which targeting areas previously identified by residents via a city hotline. During each assessment, data was collected for quantity and types of items being dumped, as well as geographic coordinates for all documented site. In conjunction with the hotspot assessments, outreach efforts designed to enhance public education and engage the community on how to better address the issue was initiated. Data from each assessment was analyzed and mapped, and a written report summarizing the findings was provided to the City. Outreach efforts included “knock and talks” within the South University Neighborhood, focus groups within the Mayfair Neighborhood, and distribution of informational door hangers within five neighborhoods of East San José.

By the Numbers | 2016-17

24 SJSU students engaged

159 residents engaged

400 hours of service

$9,228 value

Project Impact

The door to door sessions found that 87% of the community residents were not aware of the large item pickup that is provided by the City; this allowed the outreach team to educate the residents on solutions to help combat illegal dumping and provide them information of scheduled pickup dates. 44% of respondents indicated they had noticed a difference in their neighborhood since the weekend pickups had begun. 58% of the respondents said that they were likely to use the large item pickup service within the next three months.

Community Voices

“Every person who responded indicated that they believed “dumping” or “excess trash” was a serious problem in the neighborhood, and that they also noticed an improvement over the last few months.”

-Student outreach assistant

“Most of the residents I spoke with talked about illegal dumping as being a huge issue in SUN. They detailed certain areas where illegal dumping occurred most frequently and some residents even spoke about neighbors who frequently were dumping illegally in front of their apartment complexes.”

-Student outreach assistant

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