DNREC’s TrashStoppers cameras are keeping Delaware clean and catching illegal dumping.
NEWS FROM THE DELAWARE DEPARTMENT OF NATURAL RESOURCES AND ENVIRONMENTAL CONTROL
DNREC’s TrashStoppers cameras are always on –
and on the lookout for illegal dumping in Delaware
DNREC’s TrashStoppers cameras are in full bloom this spring, opening their shutters wide on Earth Day and the other 364 days of the year to catch illegal trash dumpers in the act of besmirching Delaware’s landscape or breaking the law by disposing of waste materials in the wrong place.
Randy Bey, 48, of Middletown was among those recently identified by TrashStoppers surveillance cameras after he dumped two truckloads of old building materials at the DART yard waste drop-off site near Bear. Mr. Bey was charged with improper disposal of solid waste and fined $500 after pleading guilty at Justice of the Peace Court 11. Illegal trash dumping in Delaware carries fines ranging from $500 to $1,500 plus court costs.
TrashStopper cameras are now deployed at dozens of locations throughout the state – and apt to move to another vista when the DNREC Office of Community Services’ Environmental Crimes Unit gets tipped off to habitual illegal dumping elsewhere. Many of the TrashStopper cameras have been sited through citizens’ tips made to the DNREC Enforcement Hotline (800-662-8802).
“We’ve got a growing number TrashStoppers cameras across the state, but it’s vigilance by citizens that can make Delaware’s anti-trash dumping campaign much more effective,” said Cpl. Casey Fountain of the ECU. “The Department of Homeland Security encourages citizens, ‘If you see something, say something.’ We really want to drive home that same message for keeping Delaware clean by citizens helping to stop illegal dumping.”
An easier call was placing the surveillance cameras at DNREC’s yard-waste drop-off sites. The designated sites accept only yard waste from Delaware residents; anything else constitutes illegal trash dumping. With a statewide yard waste ban in effect, citizens’ choices to manage their yard waste are: recycling it as mulch and/or compost on their own property; self-hauling yard waste either one of the DNREC-managed yard waste drop off sites in northern New Castle County or taking it to any of the private facilities throughout the state willing to accept this material, or hiring a landscaper or waste hauler to remove yard waste. (For a list of drop-off and collection options, please visit: http://www.dnrec.delaware.gov/yardwaste/Pages/Default.aspx.)
As more cameras are deployed, the TrashStoppers’ campaign has extended the arm of the anti-illegal dumping law through police agency collaboration and the media. Violators’ photos are posted on DNREC’s website, where the public can help identify them, and the photos can also be distributed to law enforcement agencies through the Delaware Information Analysis Center (DIAC. TrashStopper photos can be emailed by the ECU to the criminal information clearinghouse DIAC, providing every police vehicle in the state access to them by in-car computer.
The TrashStoppers campaign can be can be accessed online via the DNREC website. Citizens are encouraged to call the toll-free, 24-hour Environmental Complaint Hotline at 800-662-8802 to report illegal dumping activities. (Verizon Wireless customers in Delaware should call #367 on their cell phones.) All information is confidential and callers reporting illegal dumping incidents, sites used for dumping, or helping to identify trash dumpers may remain anonymous.