PHOENIX — Phoenix public works officials say they're seeing results after installing 12 cameras in city alleyways to help combat illegal dumping.
"Our overall goal is to work with the residents to make sure we can stop this problem," said Jesse Duarte, the city's deputy public works director.
Duarte said in the past year, the cameras captured around 20 potential violations.
The city's 50 specialists use license plates, car descriptions and other details to track down suspected offenders. At least 90% of the time, Duarte said, they're able to find the individuals seen in the videos who then have 24 hours to collect the illegally dumped items or face a fine of up to $2,500.
"We're on top of it as quickly as we can," he said.
The department tracks citizen complaints to determine where to place the cameras, which can move every 90 days. Public works specialists first place signs and, if that's not enough of a deterrent, later install the cameras.
Duarte said the department is budgeting to buy four more cameras each year, allowing them to monitor two additional alleyways.
Each week, on Thursdays, workers span the city to collect illegally dumped items.
Violators often leave envelopes, receipts or other items that quickly allow specialists to identify who they are, Duarte said.
City officials told ABC15 residents should never approach potential violators. Instead, write down as many details as possible (such as person and car descriptions) and consider taking photos or video.
If you witness illegal dumping in progress, call Crime Stop at 602-262-6151. After the fact, call 602-262-6251.