BUFFALO, N.Y. — The fine for illegal dumping in the City of Buffalo would increase under a proposed ordinance change before Buffalo Common Council, and the reward for reporting it could also go up.
Drive through some neighborhoods in Buffalo and it's common to see TVs, mattress sets, and piles of garbage attracting rodents.
Imagine having to look at this everyday.
REPORTER: Can we first get a little bit more of an understanding as to just how widespread and how serious a problem illegal dumping is in the city?
"Illegal dumping is a huge problem, especially in certain parts of the city. You look at the east side, the fact that there are people who we have discovered come into the east side at times to dump their trash," Buffalo Common Council president Darius Pridgen said.
Pridgen says his office has recently received pictures of illegal dumping.
A city spokesperson tells us since the beginning of the year, the city's 311 line has received 250 calls for illegal dumping.
It's up to Buffalo Police and the city's inspections department to investigate these calls.
To crack down on offenders, Pridgen has proposed a resolution to boost the the reward for anyone who reports an illegal dumping case that's successfully handled from $1,000 to $1,100, and the fine for anyone caught illegally dumping from $1,500 to $2,200.
REPORTER: A $700 boost, again where does the number come from?
"This is really to discourage people from dumping at the end of the day. Obviously the fine that is on the books right now, it is obviously not significant enough," Pridgen said.
Illegal dumping has also been a big problem in Niagara Falls.
Just last month, a Falls man was charged with illegally dumping a boat on 15th Street.
REPORTER: Because they've had an issue up there they installed cameras in certain parts of the city, is that something that can be done here in Buffalo?
"We're hoping that the citizens will be our eyes and ears by offering the reward," Pridgen said.
Pridgen is hoping to have this resolution passed as soon as possible.
Out of those 250 calls to Buffalo's 311 line for illegal dumping, 2 On Your Side has not been told by the city how many have resulted in charges being filed.
And of course there are better ways of getting rid of hazardous waste such as at a hazardous waste drop off site.
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