Citywide crackdown on illegal dumping is paying off, Krewson says

ST. LOUIS – More than 200 people have been caught illegally dumping in the City of St. Louis in less than 10 months. And whistleblowers are making money as part of the city’s crackdown.

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson unveiled a super-sized check for $1,800 at City Hall on Wednesday.

“This is (made out) to ‘anonymous trash tipsters.’ It’ll be 18 $100 checks going out this month for them helping us to catch folks that are doing the illegal dumping,” she said.

It has become a scourge of the city: so much trash dumped that certain St. Louis streets and alleys look like actual landfills.

Those tipsters and more than 100 surveillance cameras have helped the city get 58 convictions for illegal dumping since January, with violators paying $500 fines and being assigned 800 hours of community service, the mayor said.

Approximately 150 more people face prosecution.

“Since January, we have issued 208 summonses, tickets, for illegal dumping. I think that’s a pretty significant dent,” Krewson said.

Though residents aren’t convinced dumpers are going to get the message.

David Frazier, who’s lived in his north St. Louis home for more than 30 years, said a nearby heap on Montgomery Street has been growing for about a year.

It’s demoralizing, he said. People keep dumping and no one comes to clean it up.

“Just coming home every day, seeing the same old trash you see all the time. You call, ask (the city) to clean it up. Sometimes they will, sometimes they won’t. Same way we had with the grass,” Frazier said.

One thing that has improved in recent weeks: the city picking up the trash on time and keeping dumpsters from overflowing.

A renewed focus on repairing trash trucks and new additions to the fleet by Spring should put an end to that part of the city's trash crisis, the mayor said.