Litterbugs Beware: You Could Be on Candid Camera

Thursday, 05 Jul 2012 12:41 PM

By Patrick Hobin

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Cities and towns across the United States are deploying cameras at illegal dumping sites to catch litterbugs as they toss their old TVs, recliners, and other items on roadsides, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

In Juneau, Alaska recently, a college-aged woman was caught on camera as she stopped along a road to toss a bag of trash in the woods. Juneau police used the footage to find the woman and fine her for littering. It was one of a handful of tickets police issued after the installation of surveillance cameras at popular illegal dumping sites across the city and addresses the age-old problem of people tossing trash along country roads. Juneau officials told the Daily News it's working.

"We get tired of digging through piles hoping to find a scrap of paper with somebody's name on it," Bob Dilley, lead community services officer for the Juneau Police Department, told the Daily News.

More powerful and affordable cameras are giving law enforcement new options to catch roadside litterbugs, the Daily News reported. In Delaware, the state’s Natural Resources Department uses hidden cameras to catch litterers and posts pictures of some offenders on a state website. Other towns and counties around the country began experimenting with litter cams earlier this year, the Daily News reported.

Lorain County, Ohio, sheriffs recently bought solar-powered litter cameras and in Henry County, Va., after years of local officials fielding complaints about ugly roadside trash, the county officials voted to approve $5,000 for cameras to catch people dumping trash, resulting in six arrests in four weeks, the Daily News reported.

The idea is popular among litter foes such as Mary Fisher, executive director of Alaskans for Litter Prevention and Recycling.

"It's pretty cool and it makes sense, particularly when you have specific areas of public property that are getting dumped on," she told the Daily News.


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