- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 1, 2014

VICKSBURG, Miss. (AP) - Vicksburg Mayor George Flaggs Jr. said he intends to increase surveillance for illegal dumpers, using not only the police department, but other city workers.

The plan, he told The Vicksburg Post (https://bit.ly/1fGS9fY ), includes increasing the authority of the city’s community service workers to call in illegal dumps if they spot them in the city.

“I want to put up surveillance cameras to see if we can catch these people and identify them,” Flaggs said.

Flaggs and aldermen Michael Mayfield and Willis Thompson are scheduled to discuss the city’s litter and trash problems Tuesday.

“Enforcement is the key,” Thompson said. “I know we’re not going to catch everyone, but if we begin cracking down and strict, maybe we can stop most of the people from doing it.”

While owners of private property are responsible for cleaning any illegal dump on their land, dumps on city rights of way are cleaned by city crews.

Mayfield said there is an untold number of illegal dumps scattered across the city on city rights of way, private property or seldom traveled streets - wherever dumpers are confident they won’t be seen unloading their vehicles of construction debris, appliances or household garbage.

“One dump site will grow to 3 to 4 loads in a matter of days, mainly because when somebody’s looking to dump illegally and sees a site on the side of the road where people can’t look out and see ‘em, they’ll stop and dump,” Mayfield said.

The penalty for illegal dumping is a fine of from $50 to $1,000 and/or 90 days in jail. Mayfield said it is hard to catch people illegally dumping trash and debris, adding most of the illegal dumping goes on at night.

“They’ll pull up to the shoulder of the road, especially in the wee hours of the night,” he said. “If they’ve got 3 to 4 minutes to dump it out of the truck off on the shoulder of the road, they’ll dump it off the shoulder of the road right in the center of town.”

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Information from: The Vicksburg Post, https://www.vicksburgpost.com

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