KPB Surveillance Camera Program Results In Over 30 Convictions For Illegal Dumping
In 2015, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful launched the IllegalDumpFreePA.org website to put in one place the community resources needed to fight illegal dumping. It includes a Municipalities Toolkit with sample letters to magistrates and media releases aimed at preventing and stopping illegal dumping at the local level.
Through the website, municipalities also have the opportunity to apply for a Camera Loan Program grant. The grant includes the loan of a set of three high quality, motion activated, covert security cameras that provide instant wireless transmission of site activity, photo documentation of license plates at speeds of up to 50 MPH, and clear photos of activity day or night that are key to prosecutions.
(Photo: Illegal dumping at night.)
The Camera Loan Program is gaining traction and has been instrumental in providing the information needed for illegal dumping convictions across the state. As a direct result of the Program, there have been over 30 convictions in communities, state forests and recycling drop off centers.
“Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful's involvement with our dumping problem has not only given us a targeted plan based on their years of experience, but they were also able to provide us with useful surveillance equipment that we have used to catch dumpers and monitor problem areas,” said Todd Ottinger, Forest Ranger, Michaux State Forest.
“For years, residents of Wesleyville Borough and nearby communities have dumped old furniture, mattresses, tires, computers, even hazardous chemicals and paint at the Borough’s recycling center. This has begun to change thanks to Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful and its generous loan of high-quality cameras,” said Tom Maggio, Wesleyville Borough Manager in Erie County. Eighteen individuals were caught on camera and found guilty of theft of service and ordered to pay a fine.
“Illegal dumping is not only detrimental to the environment, but also brings a financial burden to our local communities as they are often the ones left to clean up the mess,” said Shannon Reiter, President, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. “Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful found that on average, it costs local communities $600 per ton or nearly $3,000 for a typical illegal dump cleanup. Those funds could be better spent elsewhere, such as parks, children’s or seniors’ programs, or community infrastructure.”
“We are excited to see the Illegal Dump Free PA Program working as it was intended to work. Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful supplies high tech surveillance cameras and support to municipalities and local organizations to help identify illegal dumpers. It is the local commitment, dedication, and strong enforcement partnerships that bring it full-circle,” Reiter added.
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