City of Lubbock Sets Sights Illegal Dumping - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

10/28/03

City of Lubbock Sets Sights Illegal Dumping

In remote around Lubbock people have chosen to bring just about anything you can imagine out to get rid of it. The City of Lubbock says they've had enough, illegal dumpers beware because now their watching you.

Many remote dump sites throughout the city are cluttered with old furniture, tires, and even dead animals. And now, you can bet the city is keeping a close eye on them. Armed with video cameras, Jaime Coy with city code enforcement is putting one of these areas under surveillance. "They're hidden anywhere in the dump site and they can be tripped by a magnetic sensor or an infrared sensor," says Coy.

The cameras start recording once movement is detected. They are constantly re-located to catch the increasing number of 'eyesore' culprits. "We think it's becoming an increasing problem so far we found at least 7 or 8 remote sites that's not counting the illegal dumping that goes on in alleys in vacant lots," says Coy.

Coy says it can cost the city up to $200 per truck load to haul the debris to the city landfill resulting in thousands of dollars lost every year to these makeshift junkyards. "If we were to send a contractor out here there's no telling how much money it would cost to clean up," says Coy.

Zach Holbrooks, an Environmental Specialist, says illegal dump sites are not only dangerous but hazardous to have around. "You're gonna have a health concern. Harboring all types of potential diseases. They're harboring rats and rodents things of that nature and depending on what it is even bacteriological concerns," says Holbrooks.

"What we attribute this to is that nobody wants to go to the landfill or recycling centers because it's too far so they find remote areas like this and just dump it here and go home," says Coy.

Now with the help of surveillance cameras, it is a sure bet that you will be prosecuted. "It varies from a misdemeanor to felony under 5 pounds it's a misdemeanor above you're talking different classes of misdemeanors," says Holbrooks.

Fines for illegal dumping start at $200. The city now has a hotline set up to report illegal dumping. You can call (806) 775-DUMP to report or file a complaint and you can remain anonymous.

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