One-day Nipomo community clean-up turns into multi-day trash headache

Posted at 4:58 PM, Jun 18, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-18 19:58:54-04

Two days after a successful Nipomo Community Clean-Up Day, people continue to dump their junk in a vacant lot.

It’s located near Hill Street and South Frontage Road and it’s turned into a trash nightmare for volunteers as they scramble to clean up the mess.

There were 13, 40-foot dumpsters placed on the lot for tires, mattresses, and other materials, but following the event, some people have the misunderstanding it’s the new dumping ground for Nipomo.

Months ago, Richard Malvarose, a Nipomo resident and business owner, was approached by San Luis Obispo County Code Enforcement to coordinate a community-wide clean-up in Nipomo.
On Saturday, more than a dozen dumpsters were filled to the brim with junk in a matter of three and a half hours.

Folks were desperate to get rid of unwanted stuff.

"We had to turn people away and as we were turning people away from this entrance, there was people pulling in from that entrance, dumping their stuff," Malvarose explained.

Volunteers sorted the junk. 

"We closed up shop and all went home and this is what you see behind me is what happened after," Malvarose said.

Following the event, more than a few people showed up and dumped more junk. 

This is a bird’s eye view of the mess: 

"It’s certainly an eyesore, it’s a safety hazard now, little disheartening to see what happened but we’ll deal with it, we always do," Malvarose said.

Two days later, on Monday morning, KSBY News cameras captured even more folks dumping unwanted items.

"By the pickup load, by the trailer load, by the carload," Malvarose explained.

A major concern was all the possible hazardous materials.

Malvarose says the property owner, an investment firm from the Bay Area, allowed them to use the vacant lot for the one-day event.

Community members, like Fred Docksgater, are doing what they can to clear the site, turned talk of the town.

"I was going to church yesterday (Sunday) and I noticed all the bins and all the junk and I thought they’re having a cleanup day or I don’t know what they’re doing," Docksgater said.

He got some new patio furniture.

"The word is your junk is somebody else’s treasure," he said.

Other volunteers, like Malvarose, are hoping to spread the word. 

"Hopefully people don’t get the impression that this is the new Nipomo dump. It’s not. It was for one specific event," Malvarose concluded.

All of the junk will go to the Santa Maria Transfer Station on Highway 166.

If you’re interested in helping out, you can contact Richard Malvarose via email at

The goal is to get everything removed as soon as possible.

It costs about $1,000 for the initial delivery and dumping of each dumpster depending on what’s inside.

It was paid for by private fundraising, the Nipomo Community Services District and the South County Advisory Council among other entities.

Thirteen cars were also collected during the event. The county says even though this was busy, a few years back they collected 50 cars in Nipomo.