Julie Johnson, THE PRESS DEMOCRAT
With a loud thump heard across their Piner Road property, the Gaddis family this week received another set of unwelcome roadside ornaments: Two moldy mattresses, a box spring and several bottles of MuscleMilk and E&J brandy.
The discarded beds — grass already growing from the ripped seams — joined another pair of damp and darkened mattresses dropped about 20 yards down the secluded road on the western outskirts of Santa Rosa.
“How would you feel?” said Gaddis, whose husband’s family started Gaddis Nursery in 1926. “You have pride in your home, and someone dumps an old mattress out front.”
The Piner Road property and other rural roads in Sonoma County have become a dumping ground for scofflaws who discard beds, refrigerators, furniture and other large unwanted items — even boats — and drive away.
The problem is so bad that county road staff can easily list from memory the most notorious spots favored by illegal dumpers.
“They’re all over the county. It’s everywhere,” said Janine Crocker, a staffer with the Sonoma County roads department.
Most Fridays, a Sonoma County probation crew drives around collecting large items discarded illegally along the county’s picturesque rural roads.