2003-09-19 / Community

Initiative Will Combat Illegal Dumping

Initiative Will Combat Illegal Dumping

A citywide initiative to combat illegal dumping has been announced by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Commissioner John Doherty. The city’s three-pronged approach will involve increasing enforcement and prosecution of illegal dumped trash in problem districts and using 311 to quickly respond to citizen’s requests to remove illegally dumped rubbish from city streets and sidewalks.

"Just because illegal dumping is an age old problem in New York, it does not mean it is something we have to live with," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The Department of Sanitation, 311, and the public working together can help solve this problem that blemishes our neighborhoods, degrades our quality of life and creates problems."

"Illegal dumping is a selfish, boorish, and unethical act that causes a blight on the streets of our city," said Commissioner Doherty. "As a result of the Mayor’s initiative, illegal dumpers should be on notice. Illegal dumping is against the law. If you break the law, you will be caught and fined."

Effective immediately, Sanitation will dramatically increase anti-dumping enforcement by deploying extra enforcement officers to stake out trouble spots that have been computer-mapped from 311 calls to catch illegal dumpers in the act. District supervisors also have received additional resources devoted to cleaning up illegal dumping sites.

A direct connection between the 311 citizen service hotline and the Sanitation Department will be established. When New Yorkers call 311 with complaints about illegal dumping, the 311 operator will immediately enter that complaint directly into the Sanitation Department’s databank. This system is similar to the one now in effect for pothole repairs. When an illegal dumping complaint is called into 311, that complaint will be assigned an identification number so you can follow up anytime to find out how work on addressing the problem is progressing.

Citizens are encouraged to call 311 when they see illegally dumped material on either public or private land. Sanitation police will then monitor the area in an effort to catch the dumper. To help catch illegal dumpers and earn a reward you should: observe the vehicle; do not touch the material dumped; report vehicle description and license plate number; report the nature of material dumped; and note typical time and day of the week when the dumping takes place.

If someone witnesses illegal dumping in progress, it should be reported to 911. If it is after the fact, it should be reported to 311.

Individuals who report information under the Sanitation Tip Program that results in a fine or civil penalty for unlawful dumping can, at the discretion of the Sanitation Commissioner, receive up to 50% of the fine collected.

The Tip Program was established in 1995. If you know of facts and circumstances which suggest illegal dumping is occurring at a location and want to report the occurrence but remain anonymous, you can file an Illegal Dumping form at www.nyc.gov. After your tip is received, Sanitation Police will monitor the location for several weeks in an attempt to catch the dumper.

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