Police cracking down on illegal dumping with cameras, reward offers

ST. LOUIS - Police are cracking down on illegal dumping in St. Louis City.

The department is deploying close to 100 cameras to catch anyone in the act.

“It’s similar to what we do with Hot Spot policing on a weekly basis,” said Sergeant Joseph Calabro. “We’ll take the calls that come into the Citizens Service Bureau. We map those out and those overlays where the hotspots are considered and that’s where we deploy the cameras.”

Calabro said that illegal dumping is a big problem not just in the city but across the country, which affects the quality of life for residents. The Baden neighborhood is one of the areas where he said the problem is most rampant.

“Since January 25, we have investigated over 175 cases. We have closed those out and there are currently 50 cases that we are investigating,” Calabro said.

“You have people who do construction and they just feel that they can use the residential dumpster to dump their commercial debris. We have people dropping logs furniture and spare parts.”

In addition to cameras, the department has a dedicated Trash Task Force made up of 15 officers monitoring alleys, gangways and vacant lots.

“There’s a $500 fine,” he said.

But there’s a flip side to all the ‘trash talk.’

“If you contact the Citizens Services Bureau and a summons is issued and it leads to an arrest which leads to a conviction, there’s a $100 reward,” Calabro explained.

Calabro said there are currently 41 functioning cameras throughout and more are coming.

To help clean your neighborhoods clean and reporter anyone in the act of illegal dumping call 314-622-4800 or Tweet using the @stlcsb handle. The department also offers a downloadable mobile app.