City of Amarillo hopes surveillance equipment and pilot program help stop illegal dumping

City of Amarillo hopes surveillance equipment and pilot program help stop illegal dumping
Source: KFDA
Amarillo's Solid Waste Department now has the green light to begin it's solid waste pilot program. (Source: KFDA)
Amarillo's Solid Waste Department now has the green light to begin it's solid waste pilot program. (Source: KFDA)
Amarillo's Solid Waste Department now has the green light to begin it's solid waste pilot program. (Source: KFDA)
Amarillo's Solid Waste Department now has the green light to begin it's solid waste pilot program. (Source: KFDA)

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - The City of Amarillo and the Solid Waste Department have taken another step towards stopping illegal dumping happening throughout the community.

City Council approved a $250,000 contract to Republic that will allow the company to assist in solid waste collection and disposal of bulky items and brush.

"It's to address some of the illegal dumping that we're seeing throughout the communities and alleys throughout the city," said Raymond Lee, Director of Public Works. "This is a way for us to pilot and see if this is an alternative to supplement and address some of the capacity issues that we have to respond to these service requests in a timely manner."

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People who live in San Jacinto, the Barrio, North Heights and Hamlet will be the first residents to see the pilot program when it kicks off in July.

"These are areas we're seeing chronic, illegal dumping throughout those areas," said Lee. "We want to make sure that we're addressing it, and we know that some of these areas have seen items out there for an extended period of time."

Concurrent with the pilot, the city plans to partner with other departments to monitor sites with chronic issues and say the goal isn't to give people tickets but to change behavior.

"We'll put out some surveillance equipment and we will begin doing enforcement activities," said City Manager Jared Miller. "We will make examples of some egregious locations where people are doing illegal dumping. Our equipment is going to be mobile, we will be able to move to different locations and enforce on different locations."

The Solid Waste Department says they don't expect this to eliminate illegal dumping right away, but initiatives like this are part of the process.

"We know it's a process of things that we have to do of educating the community, getting some type of compliance out there to kind of enforce our city code," said Lee. "Working along with the clean up initiatives that we have and volunteer groups to help resolve some of these issues that we're seeing."

After the program finishes, the Solid Waste Department wants feedback from the community so they can see if this initiative is a long term solution.

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