NIAGARA FALLS, NY - The City of Niagara Falls is proposing new ways to fight illegal dumping in the city. This has been a big problem in the city, with some streets filled with trash, attracting rodents and an awful smell.
Drive around the area south of Pine Avenue in the falls, and you'll likely find streets and alleys, littered with trash.
TV's, furniture, garbage -- it's a problem that dates back years.
"Some people are going to dump no matter what, but I do believe, they're taking people that are normally honest people, they don't know what to do, so they find a spot they get rid of it," said Republican Niagara Falls council member Kenny Tompkins believes the problem starts with the city's bulk collection policy -- he says it's restrictive.
"It's nowhere near enough," Tompkins said.
In the falls -- you're allowed to put out one large item for trash pickup the first week of each month. Except in September and April, when you can put out six items, two weeks in a row.
"My understanding was that it was thought that that was going to be sufficient to deal with the amount of bulk items that were being produced," said city administrator Nick Melson."It obviously isn't working, residents want to see something different."
Mayor Dyster's administration proposes a couple of options to change the program. One idea -- to allow people to throw out one bulk item each week.
"We're going to see what the residents want, we're going to do a new policy and we're going to see how that works," Melson said.
In Dyster's proposed budget, he wants to add one part-time clean neighborhood inspector at the cost of $31,000 a year. That person would issue citations to residents, who constantly leave garbage outside their house.
Dyster's administration says it is in talks with police to step up enforcement in areas that have frequent illegal dumping. And the mayor's office is interested in installing security cameras at dumping sites across the city.
It's unclear how many cameras and how much they'll cost.
"We're going to use them mainly for curtailing illegal activities and respecting the rights of privacy that our residents have," Melson said.
REPORTER: What are you telling residents? Niagara Falls is going to get cleaned up?
"That's the goal," Melson said.
Residents of Niagara Falls are being asked to call the mayor's office to let the city know what they would like to see happen to bulk collection. A lot of these ideas would have to be approved by the city council. They have until December to approve the budget.