“We’ll Discover You”: Pittsburgh Officers Start Combating Unlawful Dumping

Pittsburgh will use hidden, high-resolution cameras to catch people being dumped in locations across the city, and Mayor Bill Peduto is proposing changes to the city’s laws to increase penalties for those caught.

“We will find you,” said Peduto. “We’ll set up cameras in these places. We will get your license plates and you will come back to this neighborhood and clean up the neighborhood. “

The cameras will be purchased by the Clean Pittsburgh Commission, a group of city officials and community groups working on programs to combat trash, illegal disposal, and recycling. They will be placed in undisclosed locations that are known to be landfills, Peduto said.

On Monday, Peduto was accompanied by community leaders and city officials to announce the new approach.

About 800 illegal landfills have been identified across the city, Peduto said.

A 2020 study in nine Pennsylvania cities, including Pittsburgh, found that illegal dumping and trash cost Pennsylvaners nearly $ 70 million each year.

The raid is part of a new plan to address the problem. It is called the City’s Waste Separation and Disposal Plan (GOLD). It creates a unified approach to the problem, said Christopher Mitchell, the Pittsburgh Department of Public Works’ anti-waste specialist.

Currently, people with complaints about garbage and garbage disposal can refer to multiple city authorities to resolve the issue, as the response will depend on what and where the garbage is, Mitchell said.

The GOLD plan was designed to simplify the response.

“That way, we don’t have to ask a series of questions to find out who this is going to. We ask you, ‘Is there any trash on the floor?’ “Mitchell said.

Monday’s announcement was praised by community leaders who have worked with the city for years to tackle the problem.

Including Donna Jackson, chair of the Larimer Consensus Group, which is working to convert vacant areas of the neighborhood into community gardens and an orchard.

But the district is one of those places in the city where there is free space that is used as landfill.

“This dumping is a real problem,” said Jackson.

Tom Davidson is a contributor to Tribune Review. You can contact Tom at 724-226-4715, tdavidson@triblive.com, or on Twitter.

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