Municipalities can learn more than just one good idea from Illinois’ Illegal Dumping programs that have been recently adopted. For starters they have a statewide task-force comprised of the following programs:
- Illinois Environmental Protection Agency
- The Office of the Illinois Attorney General
- Illinois Department of Public Health
- Illinois Department of Natural Resources
- Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
Along with various law enforcement authorities, they have implemented new legislation to tackle the problem of illegal dumping. This legislation, termed the Illinois Environmental Protection Act, prohibits the open dumping of waste; criminalizing illegal dumping as either a Class “A” misdemeanor or a Class “4” felony for repeat offenders. The interagency collaboration the State of Illinois is currently employing is an important step in deterring illegal dumping.
In addition to coordinating agency efforts, Illinois is being proactive in educating the public on the consequences of improperly disposed waste. The means of which include public service announcements and hotlines, enabling citizens to act vigilantly and to discourage illegal dumping in their neighborhoods, statewide. This fact, coupled with the law enforcement’s willingness to investigate and prosecute offenders, as well as the publicizing of arrests and successful convictions — are each proactive steps in the right direction.
In addition to Illinois’ prosecutor’s determination to stomp out illegal dumping, the city of Chicago is utilizing resource tools to stop the problem. New laws and stiff fines, in accumulation with the well-placed illegal dumping cameras at common dump sites to capture evidence-footage, are all assisting prevention of cases in illegal dumping.
The trick to vigorous deterrence of illegal dumping throughout a state, like Illinois, can be summed up in three, key steps:
- Implementing tough legislation against illegal dumping
- Taking proactive measures to ensure the law is being enforced
- Installing active methods, such as illegal dumping cameras to prosecute and prevent