How to Implement an Illegal Dumping Program

How to Implement an Illegal Dumping Program

Are you a city official that is irritated with the illegal dumping that is occurring in your city?  Here are some solutions to help your community.

Illegal Dumping is a major problem for most cities.  City officials are frustrated because even though resources are tight, the responsibility to clean up and prevent lays on their shoulders.  Fortunately, there are creative ideas that not only solve the problem but can add to the city’s resources.  To do this, the city must implement a program that includes city team work, involving several departments.

Here are some bullet points to build and implement an effective Illegal Dumping Program:

  • One person responsible to administer the program (including the deployment, operation and maintenance of equipment).
  • Access to a bucket truck for proper installation, movement, and maintenance equipment.
  • Coordinated efforts to educate the public and to increase public relation efforts.
  • Support from specified enforcement personnel to successfully prosecute individual cases.
  • Totally Portable, High-Resolution Cameras to catch and prosecute dumpers in the act.

Although, implementing an effective program can be daunting, cities should look at this challenge as an opportunity to make a difference. If the ordinances are written correctly, the program could even generate revenue, adding resources to the city. If you are a city official with the challenge of illegal dumping, do not despair.  Create and Implement an Illegal Dumping Solution that will bring pride to the community you serve.

Is your park facing loitering problems and vandalism?

Deter Vandalism and Loitering in Parks

Is your park facing loitering problems and vandalism?  Know the key indicators to help solve this problem and what you can do to help your park.

It is not very difficult to discern when a storefront is open for business.  Key indicators often include well-displayed business hours, which are commonly posted next to the main entrance.  Visible sales personnel may signal that a shop is still open for business or an unilluminated sales floor of a store might signal that store is closed.  A line is drawn with store and mall hours being clearly visible.  However, indications of a closed property are not always so obvious.

Most city-owned parks list the rules of the area with signs.  These include allowable recreational activities, dog leash laws, and designated parking spaces.  But the time at which the park closes is sometimes ambiguous.

Generally, as a rule of thumb, city parks tend to close around dusk.  This grey area regarding the park’s operating hours can lead to some oblivious teens or young adults stumbling into an ungated recreational location after hours, imbibed with strong drink and an unwavering drive to wreak havoc, which turns into vandalism. These delinquents are now guilty of committing several misdemeanors, including illegal loitering, public intoxication, and vandalism if the damage is still within the misdemeanor penal code.   If the damage is extensive, the misdemeanor becomes a felony.

Vandalism is an extremely common occurrence in parks after hours. Vandalism most often occurs when a vandal has a good chance of not being caught.  Less public visibility and poor outdoor lighting make a park an easy target for a potential vandal who’s loitering late at night.

There are, however, a few things the Parks Department can do to limit this occurrence:

  • Post Clear Signs– signs displayed near the entrance and exits in well-lit areas let potential lingerers know the park is closed. Be sure the signs are visible and the hours are clearly stated.
  • Motion Sensored Lighting- the more lighting an area has, the less likely vandals will remain. Motion sensored lights save energy while illuminating only when the detector senses motion.
  • Monitoring– regular sweeps conducted by the police department, security guards, and park rangers deter loitering and reduces nuisance crimes.
  • Vandal Resistant Materials– to be used in graffiti prone areas. They are simple to clean if graffiti does occur.
  • Vandalism Deterrent Cameras cameras designed to stop vandalism are very effective and should be placed in strategic areas where crime is most likely to occur.
Dumpsters

Homeowners Associations & Illegal Dumping Problems

Unfortunately, most homeowners associations must manage the problem of illegal dumping. Indeed, trash regulations are among the first rules listed in HOA manuals, and with good reason. City fines are directed first to the HOA of the offending neighborhood. These fines can easily exceed $1000 per each day the trash isn’t removed from the dumping site. If the HOA felt inclined to challenge these fines, court costs can bankrupt an entire neighborhood.

So why would the city fine neighborhoods that have been literally dumped on?  Once the rubbish finds its way onto the property it becomes the responsibility of the victimized neighborhood to pick it up, with the owners paying the fees. Tenants of HOA controlled neighborhoods also end up paying for the dumping in the form of raised rents due to fines incurred by the misplaced garbage.

This issue is made even trickier to manage when the people who are doing the dumping are the neighbors in adjacent neighborhoods. Discussing the issue can often lead to a more abrasive relationship with these neighbors and make a bad situation even worse.

There are reasonable, logical solutions the HOA board can implement to combat the illegal dumping. As it is with most matters of a civil nature, open and honest communication with surrounding neighborhoods is a good place to start.

Here are some action items a Homeowners Association can do to help your community with the Illegal Dumping problem:

  • If you witness the dumping, take a picture or write down:
    • The license plate number
    • The description of the vehicle
    • What was dumped
  • Post signs according to the laws of your city.  (Following the city requirements allow code enforcement officers to help with appropriate action)
  • Report any Illegal Dumping problems to code enforcement and work with them to help you combat the problem
  • Cameras with high resolution that can capture license plates in complete darkness will give code enforcement the evidence needed to prosecute
  • Communicate and work with the surrounding neighborhoods
Public water

Protect Public Water Facilities from Vandalism

If water storage chambers, pumps, or valves are vandalized, even if it is a childish prank, it is an act that compromises the water treatment facility.  To ensure the safety of the public, The Department of Public Works will need to sanitize the water and pass the water inspections of State and Federal standards, because vandalizing or any outside contact with the water treatment process may cause an imbalance in the treatment facility’s bionetwork.

The cost involved in bringing back the integrity of the water in the storage chambers involves treating the water a second time with the entire treatment process, in order to sanitize it.  Water reservation and services are supposed to be kept as cheap as possible, however, when the water storage is disturbed by outside contaminates from vandalism, this causes the Water Department to raise their budget in order to sanitize the polluted water.

It is mandatory, therefore, to maintain the efficiency of water equipment in prestige condition.  The Water Utility Operations must guard the equipment from corrosion, and protect its infrastructure of the water facilities.  A damaged water-treatment system compromises the water of the entire community, causing public schools and other organizations to shut down until the water system is repaired and properly treated.

Preventing vandalism within water department perimeters is essential. Some water treatment plants have installed walls and gates with barbed wire to deter trespassing.  However, persistent vandals overcome these barriers, therefore other deterrents are required. Other tools to consider are crime deterrent cameras using a motion sensor that will illuminate the area approached and will capture and help identify the trespassers.   Since crime deterrent cameras are self-contained and require no electricity, they can be placed in even the most remote areas of the water treatment plant.

The public water system is a process that is important to protect, and it is essential to guard its equipment from vandals.  Ensuring the entire community is drinking safe water cannot be compromised.  Protect the water treatment plant and use as many resources as possible to prevent vandalism.