The City of Phoenix is cracking down on illegal dumping. Some people do not think public works is doing enough to deter the dumpers.
The city recently added two high-quality cameras and signs to an alley near downtown Phoenix.
It is part of the larger effort to deter dumpers and prevent the massive piles of trash and junk that was piling up on a regular basis.
"We do have a problem with illegal dumping," said Johnni Green, a manager with the Phoenix Public Works Department.
Public works is now watching the alley closely.
They installed two cameras in the past two weeks.
"We have caught some people but mostly it is a deterrent," Green said, who has been with public works for 24 years.
Sergio Garcia, who lives in the alley near 15th Avenue and Taylor, said the cameras are working.
"It was terrible, we couldn’t even drive by," Garcia said. "I literally had to get off and clean it out myself, scoot [junk] to the side."
Casey Hood lives miles away in Arcadia. ABC15 highlighted his alley in August.
He claims he called the city months ago to get cameras installed.
"Cameras are the only solution," Hood said. "I can’t stand back there and wait for somebody to come by and get pictures."
Public works is hoping to put up more cameras, but it is expensive and they still need homeowners' assistance.
"They should call the customer service care center and report that as soon as possible," Green said. "A license plate number, description of the vehicle or the people, that would be helpful."
Green said people should never put themselves in danger or confront a dumper.
She said solid waste environmental specialists can investigate and determine who the dumpers are. When they do catch up with a violator though, it does not always mean a fine, which range from $100 to $2,500 according to the city ordinance.
"We tell them, you need to have this debris removed within 24 hours, if not we will move forward with some type of enforcement," Green said.
Hood does not think the slap on the wrist is enough of a deterrent.
"They dump it, and the city just passively picks it up," he said. "They should be aggressively prosecuted, fined, minimally on probation, possibly throw em in jail for year two. I could [not] care less."
One alley is seeing improvement. Another has old trash decomposing.
Public works said they will be satisfied until Casey and other homeowners are happy, and the dumpers disappear.
The advice from public works is to call and report the dumping as soon as you notice it.
Call the city's customer service line at 602-262-6251 if the dumping has already occurred.
If it is in progress, call 9-1-1 or 602-262-6151.
You can also email pictures and report dumping by emailing public works at firstname.lastname@example.org