ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - The City of St. Louis is fighting illegal dumping with technology and catching the perpetrators on camera. Crooks are dumping trash in empty lots and costing the city millions of dollars to clean up.
Tires, couches, clothing and dirt, all of it illegally dumped in alleys and waterways. It`s a daily problem officials are fighting to clean up. Sergeant Ron Hasty leads the 5 man trash task force responsible for checking reported sites and the 120 cameras posted across the city. Some of the cameras caught the dumpers in the act and other crimes in motion.
'We have problems with absentee landlords that come in and think that when a tenant moves out it’s ok to empty the apartment into the alley. They pull up and get captured on camera and we have the face to go with the car and license plate. We`ve caught people involved in shootings, involved in shots fired. We even caught people burning stolen autos.' Said Hasty.
The trash task force gets over 2,000 calls per year. When caught perpetrators face a minimum of $500 in fines per incident and 40 hours of community service. Hauling activity typically picks up in the spring.
'We spend 4 million dollars a year cleaning up people`s trash I wouldn`t want to live like that.' He said.
Number To Report Illegal Dumping--314-622-4800