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Neighborhood yard covered with a 5' high pile of tumbleweeds

Neighbors say the city denied their requests for help with removing them
Posted at 10:34 AM, Feb 20, 2024
  • Video shows heap of tumbleweeds in local neighborhood and reports and email correspondence with the city
  • Teddy Marrero lives in a southwest Bakersfield neighborhood and says since the high wind storm over two weeks ago, he hasn't received help from the city to remove the mound of tumbleweeds in his yard.
  • UPDATE: The city of Bakersfield responded to our inquiry, saying "If tumbleweeds are in the public right-of-way (roads, sidewalks, etc.), the City will respond and remove them. If they are on private property, it is up to the property owner to remove and dispose of them. That can be either on their own, or if they want to call a service for that (a gardener, tree service, yard waste business, etc.)."

As you can see this pile of tumbleweeds is nearly as big as me in some areas, and neighbors say since the last storm system blew the tumbleweeds into their cul-de-sac, they still haven’t received any assistance from the city with removing them.

Neighborhood News Reporter Dominique Lavigne standing next to tumbleweed pile. For reference, Dominique is 5'8 tall
Neighborhood News Reporter Dominique Lavigne standing next to tumbleweed pile. For reference, Dominique is 5'8 tall

Winds as high as 55 miles per hour howled through the central valley on February 4th, blowing down trees, kicking up dust, and tossing tumbleweeds across Bakersfield.

“When the storm came, the winds were, I saw it in the news, it was about 60 miles an hour," Teddy Marrero, a long time Bakersfield resident said. "Tumbleweeds were running everywhere, even in my pool. It was full of tumbleweeds.”

City officials were even seen clearing a mound of the dead plants from the side of the road, but in this quiet southwest neighborhood, two weeks later, you can still find the remnants of that storm.

“They told me they weren’t going to be able to pick it up because the tumbleweeds are on private property.”

Marrero says he filed two reports with the city of Bakersfield and sent an email to the city manager’s office to help clean up the weeds.

“Well, my reaction was really angry because we are taxpayers,” he said.

Marrero says after multiple requests for help, the city told him there was nothing they could do and advised him to put the tumbleweeds in the trash or take them to a landfill.

“I don’t have a pickup truck, so I have to rent one," he told me. "How many tumbleweeds can I fit on a pickup truck? I would say the most 10 and then wrap it and tie it up, and if you see all the pileup. It will take more than 10 trips.

Marrero estimates the cleanup would take about 20 trips back and forth to the landfill and cost at least $200 with the truck rental and gas.

He showed me his initial report and told me the city mentioned they could place the tumbleweeds in their trash bins.

Trashcan overflowing with tumbleweeds from neighborhood
Trashcan overflowing with tumbleweeds from neighborhood

Marrero read from his email correspondence with the city, saying they told him, "Unfortunately, it would be best if you place the tumbleweeds in the brown, black, gray trash bin rather than in the street as mentioned in the article.”

He adds only two or three weeds can fit in their bin at once, meaning it would take weeks at a time to clean up, and he’d like to see more support from city officials.

“We, as the taxpayers, deserve to have help from the city.”

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