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Clark wants crackdown on dumping

Cameras would target illegal ‘hot spots’ in county.

The Clark County Solid Waste District hopes surveillance equipment can crack down on illegal dumping “hot spots.”

Officials have applied for nearly $7,000 in funding from an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency Community Grant to place three cameras in five locations that are targeted by violators. The grant includes a 50 percent local match of about $3,400 from the solid waste district.

The proposed plan comes after Clark County deputies responded last year to 424 illegal dumping complaints, ranging from a sofa on the side of the road to sizable piles for tires and trash. Deputies also charged 27 people with littering or other illegal dumping offenses, according to Steve Schlather, program coordinator for the Clark County Solid Waste District.

In addition, county officials collected 49.5 tons of trash and were forced to pay nearly $4,500 to Rumpke to haul trash, which was mostly illegally dumped material, Schlather wrote in the grant application.

“Illegal dumping is an issue,” Schlather said. “… There are certain places that get hit a lot, and we feel like if we can get some surveillance in these areas we can cut down on this stuff.”

Clark County deputies have selected five “hot spots” that include secluded and easily accessible areas on the south side of Springfield, Springfield Twp., areas near Buck Creek and the bike path and an area around an abandoned property, according to the grant application.

Officials want to place two cameras in each “hot spot,” with one camera on the area where the dumping occurs and a second camera pointed at the first camera to capture anyone who attempts to destroy the first camera.

In addition, a reserve camera will be placed at the sites, which means the county will install a total of 15 cameras at illegal dumping sites.

Schlather also said cameras are needed at a local recycling station because residents are using bins there as a dump site for mattresses, TVs, and debris from construction sites.

“The contamination in the commingled bins has been so bad at times that offices at the Waste Management MRF (Materials Recovery Facility) in Fairborn have indicated they might begin to refuse our loads,” Schlather wrote in the grant application.

The cameras will be motion-activated and will come with a memory card that will be downloaded to a laptop for deputies to monitor.

If the solid waste district is awarded the grant, monitoring could begin by the end of September, according to the grant application.

Clark County Solid Waste District Director Alice Godsey said she hopes the cameras deter illegal dumping in the area.

“It’s an eyesore and it’s a cost to us,” Godsey said.

Illegal dumping is a third-degree misdemeanor, and violators face a $500 fine and/or 60 days in jail, Clark County Deputy George Bennett said.

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