Q: I have seen an increase of old furniture, tree limbs and construction materials left in the alley behind my home lately. I also have some large items and old paint I don’t need any more but I don’t want to leave them in the alley because I know this is illegal. Who can I call when I see others dumping items in the alley? Does the city offer a service to residents who have bulk items or paint that need disposal?

A: Dumping old furniture, trash and construction materials on public areas (alleys, parks parking lot) is illegal. If any citizen observes what they believe is illegal dumping, they should call the Santa Monica Police Department at (310) 458-8491 and report the incident.

Any citizen who has bulky items (old furniture, appliances etc.) can contact the city of Santa Monica Resource Recovery & Recycling Division. Resource Recovery & Recycling (R3) provides bulky item collection every Wednesday and Friday for a prearranged fee. The fee varies according to the size and weight of the item, and ranges from $25 for a small item to $250 or more for a major cleanup of debris and furniture pieces. Bulky items are limited to those large items that do not fit in a refuse container, such as: refrigerators, stoves, furniture and similar items.

To arrange for a bulky item collection or for more information about this special service, please contact R3 at (310) 458-2223, Monday through Thursday from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Fridays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

This service is available to both residential and commercial customers.

For residents of Santa Monica who may have paint, household cleaners, fertilizers, batteries or motor oil can contact the city of Santa Monica’s Household Hazardous Waste Center located at 2500 Michigan Ave. For more information on what is accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Center and hours of operation, please visit the city Of Santa Monica Office of Sustainability website at www.smgov.net/departments/ose/.

Q: There has been a lot of talk about bicycle safety and sharing the roadway lately and I often see bicyclists riding at night and I can barely see them. Sometimes they are riding in the middle of the street and I can’t see them until I’m right on them. Are there laws regulating the necessary equipment on bicycles?

A: Yes, 21201(d) of the California Vehicle Code states:

A bicycle operated during darkness upon a highway shall be equipped with all of the following:

(1) A lamp emitting a white light that, while the bicycle is in motion, illuminates the highway, sidewalk, or bikeway in front of the bicyclist and is visible from a distance of 300 feet in front and from the sides of the bicycle.

(2) A red reflector on the rear that shall be visible from a distance of 500 feet to the rear when directly in front of lawful upper beams of headlamps on a motor vehicle.

(3) A white or yellow reflector on each pedal, shoe, or ankle visible from the front and rear of the bicycle from a distance of 200 feet.

(4) A white or yellow reflector on each side forward of the center of the bicycle, and a white or red reflector on each side to the rear of the center of the bicycle. Bicycles that are equipped with reflectorized tires on the front and the rear need not be equipped with these side reflectors.

(e) A lamp or lamp combination, emitting a white light, attached to the operator and visible from a distance of 300 feet in front and from the sides of the bicycle, may be used in lieu of the lamp.

As you see there are certain items which are not only required by law, but which also make sense when riding in areas where the lighting is not ideal. Also, in most situations, bicycles are required to ride as close to the right hand curb or edge of the roadway as possible. Often times we see bicyclists that ride in pairs (side by side) on roadways which may cause a car approaching from the rear to veer into another lane or into opposing traffic, depending on the street. Not only is this dangerous but it is also inconsiderate to others who are using the roadway. Please, let’s be safe and use good judgment when we are out there on the road.

Holiday safety tip

During the holidays, many of us may purchase items from the Internet and have them shipped to our homes or offices. Consider having these items delivered to a neighbor or ask for signature upon delivery if you know you are not going to be home when it is delivered. Refrain from having a package left on the front door (when possible) to reduce the chance of having the package stolen.

This column was prepared by Neighborhood Resource Officer Artis Williams, (Beat 7, Sunset Park Neighborhood). He can be reached at (424) 200-0687 or artis.williams@smgov.net.