Seattle launches pilot program aimed at reducing illegal dumping

In 2022, the city spent more than $1.7 million addressing illegal dumping, including collecting more than 1.9 million pounds of illegally discarded waste.


KING 5 Staff

SEATTLE — Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) launched a pilot program on Friday aimed at reducing illegal dumping in the city.

According to a press release from SPU, the problem exists in many Seattle neighborhoods.

In 2022, the city spent more than $1.7 million addressing illegal dumping, including collecting more than 1.9 million pounds of illegally discarded waste.

“When items like TVs, computers, furniture, tires, construction debris, yard waste, solvents and other potentially hazardous liquids are dumped on roadsides, streets, and alleys, it affects all of us,” said Lee Momon, SPU Clean City Division director. “It burdens taxpayers and neighbors and creates unsafe, unhealthy, and unsightly conditions for the community.”

How will it work?

SPU will install one motion-activated camera in an industrial section of West Seattle. This first camera is located in the 7100 block of Detroit Avenue SW near SW Myrtle St. There will be signs posted to notify the public of the camera.

According to the city, this location is one of the eight hot spots in the city. If the year-long pilot program goes well the city could consider putting one or two cameras in each council district.

“This particular location is one that we had over 5,000 tires dumped, we had a boat, we had cars, we had a whole kitchen remodel done thrown out here, and it’s really one of the hot spots in Seattle,” Momon said.

Each camera will only be activated by on-site motion. After a 30-second pause, the camera will play an illegal dumping message. If motion continues on-site, the camera will capture images of the on-site individuals and/or vehicles for investigation. 

Photos will be transferred from the camera to city officials. Photos will be deleted or redacted to protect the privacy of those not involved in illegal dumping, according to SPU.

“This pilot reflects several of our key priorities – focusing on fairness and accountability, creating efficiencies, responsibly using technology, and improving our city for all residents,” said Chief Operating Officer Marco Lowe. “The City of Seattle takes privacy very seriously, and this pilot program is solely focused on preventing illegal dumping and holding those committing the illegal action accountable. We will monitor its outcomes to make adjustments as needed and continue to improve service.”

SPU’s Clean City Enforcement Manager will review all images in accordance with the city’s Litter Control Code.

If they find an individual violated the code, SPU will reach out to them and find a resolution. The resolution could involve cleaning fees, violation fees, or community service.

To find an SPU Transfer Station where items can be dropped off for a fee, click here.

Surveillance cameras at biking trails

WKMG-ORD (CBS) – Orlando, FL

Eye in the Sky: Parks and Recreation Division Introduces Surveillance Cameras on Local Trails

10 October, 2019

Parks and Recreation Division Introduces Surveillance Cameras on Local Trails

As a proactive public safety measure for the community, Orange County Parks and Recreation Division has installed four new surveillance cameras on multi-use pedestrian trails, including the West Orange Trail, Pine Hills Trail, Little Econ Greenway and Cady Way Trail. The cameras have been placed in locations purposely visible in an effort to deter after-hours activity and crime.

“This represents a worthwhile investment for public safety,” said Danny Banks, Orange County Public Safety Director. “The cameras are overt and visible because we want people to know they’re there for the benefit of their safety, but we also want the bad guys to know the good guys are watching them.”

Public Safety Director Danny Banks speaks about the security cameras

Orange County collaborated with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office to determine which camera system to use and suitable locations in which to place them on the trails, which close after sunset. The solar-powered FlashCAM system takes still photographs and gives an audible warning to trespassers. It is also portable, which means it can be moved to various areas throughout the trail network. Each camera costs $7,000 and is 10” wide x 7 ¾” high x 9 ¼” deep at the base and 11 ¼” deep on the hood.

“We looked at multiple cameras and decided this was the best option,” said Matt Suedmeyer, manager, Orange County Parks & Recreation Division. “The camera can zoom in and get close-up photos of both faces and license plates, and the fact it audibly announces that you’re trespassing and your photo has been taken is a huge deterrent to criminal activity.”

Suedmeyer added this is just the first step in enhancing public safety in Orange County. “Right now, we’re deploying cameras on our high-use trails, but as we measure their success, we’ll add more both on our trails and in our parks.”

For information about Orange County parks and trails, visit

Cameras to be installed, catching illegal dumpers

BATON ROUGE – The City-Parish will soon start taking pictures of illegal dumpers in the act.

The 16 cameras arrived in the mail on Monday. The camera boxes include a Canon camera, LED flash, motion detector, solar panel, and speaker with the potential to broadcast messages. The camera can take a high-resolution image from more than 200 feet away at any time of day.

The camera boxes will be installed on top of power poles and can send the images it captures directly to a cell phone.

“It’ll be able to very legibly read the license plate, you’ll be able to see clear facial images,” said Director of Environmental Services Richard Speer.

The City-Parish did not provide a list of where the cameras will go, but say that they will target popular spots for illegal dumping and will move from different locations depending where the need is.

“You know, we have a landfill, everybody can bring their stuff to the landfill,” said Speer. “They shouldn’t be putting that on the taxpayers to clean up their mess.”

It’s part of Operation Fresh Start and a coordinated effort between the City-Parish department heads and law enforcement. In a few days, Speer says they’ll identify and prioritize areas where the cameras are needed to put a stop to illegal dumping.

The goal is to have the cameras up and running by October 19th. Anyone caught illegally dumping will face charges and penalties will be determined by the courts.