Council Members, Public Works Officials Seek Help Catching Illegal Dumpers

Joined by Public Works officials, Louisville Metro Council members Marianne Butler, D-15, and Cheri Bryant Hamilton, D-5, called on residents to help them crackdown on illegal dumping across the city.

Butler and Hamilton announced on Friday that the city will install 19 new state of the art cameras over the summer in problem areas, which have seen repeated cases of trash and other junk items being dropped off improperly. The cameras are designed to be mobile and will be moved periodically in the case of violators moving to different locations.

Butler says illegal dumping is a perennial problem in many neighborhoods, and the public can help track violators by visiting the city's website to report an incident and identify illegal dumpers caught on camera.

 “Hopefully with this we will stop the dumping,” she says. “We are asking residents to go to the website. Look at the photos that are on it and help us prosecute the people who are devaluing your neighborhood. Because these people are dumping in everybody's neighborhood.”

In January, city lawmakers approved an amendment to the illegal dumping ordinance that strengthened the law considerably.

Under the new law, violators will not only face a fine up to $5,000 but individuals could have the vehicle used to dump impounded for up to year. Prior to releasing any vehicle that has been impounded, the vehicle owner will have to pay any outstanding citations, towing, handling and storage charges in full.

The new cameras are portable, self-contained solar powered units that have very high resolution to make it easier to zoom in and retrieve details. The cameras are also motion activated and have night vision capabilities.

Hamilton says the cameras will rotate when necessary, adding at least five cameras will be put in her district to address the rampant problem.

“Somebody has to be held responsible and we needed another tool to stop this illegal dumping. People don't care about where they put it and they don't put it in their own neighborhood,” she says. “Either they're too lazy or too cheap to take it to landfill and people are tired of it.”

The Public Works department says there will be a mix of hidden and publicly displayed cameras in alleyways, fields and other dumping areas. The council approved $60,800 for the cameras with funding coming from the discretionary funds of several members.

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