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Illinois’ Proactive Illegal-Dumping Platform

Illinois’ Proactive Illegal-Dumping Platform

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
Combat Illegal Dumping Using Social Media

Combat Illegal Dumping Using Social Media

Have you ever thought Social Media could help stop illegal dumping?

Today’s quickly evolving and advanced technology is currently becoming adapted to help solve crimes worldwide. Through the use of social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, many community leaders and law enforcement entities are using this new technology to combat growing problems like illegal dumping and vandalism. Well placed surveillance cameras are catching these illegal acts against our communities and aiding in the identification of suspects as well as providing footage for evidence in courtroom cases. These cameras also have the added benefit of helping to deter the re-occurrence of these common crimes.

With the benefit of social media’s large audience, prosecutors now have more tools than ever at their disposal to vigilantly pursue perpetrators of illegal dumping and results have proven that these programs are working proactively well.

A case in point is the city of Youngstown, that has seen cases of illegal dumping drop by a record 40 per cent so far, and this number is climbing. Mayor Jamael Tito Brown’s “get tough on illegal dumping” initiative utilizes new Ohio legislation which features mandatory minimum fines and potential jail time for more serious offenders convicted of violating illegal dumping and anti-littering laws. With the new and revised statutes, city prosecutors can no longer turn a “blind-eye” in regards to those suspected of the crime of illegal dumping.

In addition to the new legislation, the city of Youngstown has also implemented a network of illegal dumping cameras designed to both identify suspects who are caught dumping illegally as well as deter those who seek out dump sites to unlawfully dispose of their solid waste. These photos are then displayed on Youngstown’s Facebook and other social media sites to help identify the suspects in question, as well as educate the public on the consequences of performing this heinous act.

All cities should use Social Media to combat Illegal Dumping.

Illegal Dumping: Fines and Community Service

Illegal Dumping: Fines and Community Service

“Trash begets trash” is a phrase that can easily sum up the growing problem of unlawfully dumped waste. The piles of illegally dumped materials often attracts other would-be dumpers to follow suit, further adding to the problem, and causing city officials to take action to try to prevent its recurrence. Some cities use serious fines and penalties, including community service, to help deter the crime of illegal dumping.

 

The cost of lawful waste disposal is among the many reasons people choose to commit this crime. Whether its cutting corners to save demolition and construction businesses money or citizens who do not want to pay out-of-pocket for the disposal fees, the crime amounts to the same; and it’s a serious one.

 

In addition to mandatory minimum fines and probation, many municipalities also handout lengthy community service hours. This community service often requires those who are convicted of illegal dumping to clean up popular dump sites. Community service not only cuts down on a city’s cost to clean up the sites, but also teaches perpetrators the kind of hard work and expense that goes into cleaning up these illegal dump sites. After completing their community service hours, it is rare that these wrongdoers go on to be repeat offenders of illegal dumping crimes.

 

Because illegal dumping is an issue that affects everyone in every neighborhood it occurs, local law enforcement and city prosecutors are determined to put a stop to this crime. Revised legislation and technology are the means by which city task-forces are accomplishing this goal. High-tech surveillance cameras are being placed in alleys and where popular dump sites are occurring, and consequently, reoccurring.

 

These illegal dumping cameras act as a two-fold means of deterring illegal dumping.

  • First as a means of identifying suspects and capturing evidence footage.
  • Second as a natural deterrent when the public is informed of its placement and an explanation of its use.

 

If your city has not yet introduced community service for illegal dumping crimes, it is time to think about it.

 

Illegal Dumping: An Environmental Crime

Illegal Dumping: An Environmental Crime

Even though many municipalities provide large bulk pickup programs, items such as: mattresses, used car parts, batteries, old appliances, and construction waste end up on sidewalks, roadways and remote locations, a sad environmental crime. Sometimes the unwanted expense of lawful means to dispose waste can be a factor when dealing with the problem of illegal dumping, but in a lot of cases convenience, an uncaring attitude towards the environment, and lax law enforcement contribute greatly to illegal dumping.

It is no coincidence that many items not properly or lawfully discarded are usually large bulk items that are difficult to deal with. Fees associated with the disposal of large bulk items or hazardous materials can fetch a high premium, and many companies are ever so diligent in finding new ways to cut corners and save on costs, which is convenient for them. However, a contradiction exists here. The disposal fees pale in comparison to criminal fines and have the ability to bankrupt a company convicted of illegal dumping, which is not convenient or desirable.

Even though some materials are extremely hazardous, often by-products of land clearing and demolition industries, these materials frequently make their way into illegal dumping sites and can contaminate ground and surface water. These environmentally unfriendly products include lead-based paints, used motor oil from gasoline-powered generators, and broken sections of drywall and insulation. If not disposed of in a lawful and federally regulated manner, hazardous materials can have disastrous effects to both the environment and our communities for decades to come, but these dumpers do not care.

The problem of illegal dumping only grows when nothing is done to stop it. Dump sites draw additional dumpers resulting in a “snowball” effect of large heaps of trash. Those persons who dump their garbage illegally are often drawn to remote, unsecured areas as well as areas around unattended waste containers.  Stiffer fines and tools designed to deter this activity in these remote areas are needed.