St. Louis establishes illegal dumping task force

ST. LOUIS – St. Louis City has established a trash task force to catch folks illegally dumping their junk and garbage within city limits.

The city expanded its efforts of catching and prosecuting illegal dumping offenders earlier this year in an overall effort to aggressively deter such activity.

The expanded efforts/resources were an increase in the number of SLMPD officers assisting with the trash task force effort and the purchase and installation of SLMPD monitoring cameras at locations in the city.

Law enforcement aggressively prosecutes the cited offenders, seeking and obtaining the maximum punishment available by law.

Old desks, mattresses, dozens of trash bags filled with junk, and ruined couches cover the alley behind Carolyn Sutton’s home on Veronica Street in north St. Louis.

Sutton said she’s had it with the mess.

“We are just tired of cleaning up other people’s junk. They have our yards blocked. We can’t come out our back gate, it's just a mess,” she said.

Sutton isn’t alone. Alderman John Collins-Muhammad said it’s a growing problem across the city and local leaders want to rid St. Louis of the eyesores.

"It's something that every ward, that every fraction of this city, experiences,” he said.

City police officers will now be monitoring cameras to bust dumpers.

"The task force consists of about 10 officers that work above and beyond their normal shift and various hours throughout the day and evening hours. A lot of dumping occurs early in the morning or late at night,” said Sgt. Joseph Calabro, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department. “Since January 25, the officers investigated over 1,400 calls for service that have come in to the Citizens Service Bureau. The citizens have really jumped on board and are making positive efforts to make and try and clean up their neighborhoods with us.”

The department is offering rewards of up to $100 to residents who contact the Citizens Service Bureau with tips that lead to the arrest of anyone illegally dumping trash.