A Bakersfield man said he recorded people in a parked SUV throw trash out their window and onto his street in northeast Bakersfield. Steve Towle said the littering lasted about 15 minutes until the SUV drove off. When he called Bakersfield police to file a report, he said, they weren't interested.
In the video, you see a man open the door of the SUV, reach for a small box and pick it up. Seconds later, he throws it out.
"I set up a camera and videotaped them, and over about a 15-minute period they continued to throw trash out of their vehicle into the street," said Towle. "A few minutes later they drove off and left all the trash."
Towle shot the video Thursday afternoon and posted the clip on YouTube. He said the same SUV had been on his street before, parked near his house. According to Towle, the occupants threw trash out of it for almost two blocks.
"After I turned the video camera off, I went in and called the police department and talked to the call center. They basically told me they were not going to take a report," said Towle.
He said police didn't offer much help and told him to call Bakersfield Code Enforcement. "I even told them that I had a good vehicle description and license number, but they weren't interested," he continued.
Both Bakersfield police and Code Enforcement say they have to see someone littering themselves in order to cite them. Code Enforcement did, however, watch Towle's video but Towle said the bigger issue is the litter itself.
"When I see someone litter, it tells me that there's definitely a cultural change that needs to happen," said Jenifer Pitcher with Keep Bakersfield Beautiful.
Pitcher said litter is a constant problem that costs the city thousands of dollars.
"In the United States alone, we spend billions of dollars on litter and graffiti removal every year, when all that money can be saved," said Pitcher.
Littering fines range from $100 to $1,000. In 2012, Bakersfield police issued 88 littering citations.