City of Houston targets illegal dumpers

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by KHOU.com staff

khou.com

Posted on September 16, 2013 at 7:15 PM

Updated Tuesday, Sep 17 at 10:26 AM

HOUSTON—The city of Houston is going after illegal dumpers.

City Councilman Jerry Davis says he’s on a mission.            

“We would get 15 to 20 calls a week on some neighborhood that has been dumped on,” he said.

That’s enough to get the Mayor’s attention.         

“Essentially it is like, you are trashing your family, trashing your neighbors,” Houston Mayor Annise Parker said.

That is why Davis and Parker have helped pass a program to spend a quarter million dollars on 25 hidden cameras to catch illegal dumpers and charge them with crimes.

Four out of 5 times the cameras are triggered somebody’s charged with a crime, as long as they can identify elements of the crime.

The penalties for illegal dumping are actually based upon how much you dump based on weight so the more that you dump the more that you pay.

“Twenty pounds to 200 pounds is a Class B misdemeanor, which you can go to jail for six months,” said Stephen Dicker, with the Houston Police Department’s Major Offenders unit.

It goes up from there to a state jail felony, with a maximum penalty of a year in jail and a $4,000 fine.

“Very few people do it once. They do it over and over again,” Parker said.

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