WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. -- Keeping your neighborhood clean can be time-consuming as it is; never mind when people come into your neighborhood and leave their trash for someone else to pick up.
The City of Winston-Salem has identified at least 15 problem areas where they have either noticed or received complaints about illegal dumping.
“You see people dumping couches and mattresses and everything,” said Maxine Meeks, who lives in one of those areas.
If you were to drive around the corner from Meeks’ house, you would see a couple mattresses, tires, smashed electronics, tires and other illegally dumped items; items she said weren’t there in the morning when she dropped her girls off at school.
“So it had to be in the daytime,” Meeks said. “They’re pretty brave, brazen.”
The city has posted signs in many of the problem areas, but the people doing the dumping seem to ignore them, leaving their trash just feet away from the signs warning of $500 fines.
“They have no respect,” Meeks said. “They don’t care.”
City officials tasked with coordinating the pickup of the illegally dumped items say if you’re caught dumping illegally, you can be hit with the cost of the pickup, plus an administrative fee and a fine. They are warning that they have set up cameras in problem areas, which have already captured images of multiple people dumping illegally and helped them track those people down.
“The problem is really a safety issue; safety, health and sanitation,” said Bruce Bailiff, Housing Inspector Supervisor for the City of Winston-Salem.
Bailiff added that, while household trash deteriorates and causes odors, some people dump tires, which collect water.
“Then that leads to mosquito breeding with all kinds of vectors for disease,” Bailiff said.
If the city can’t track you down, they pass any information they have on those dumping illegally to the police, who will issue a citation.
To combat the problem, the city has begun sending out mailers, offering a $250 reward for information on those doing the dumping.
Many people may not realize they don’t always have to pay to go to the dump. You can get two free vouchers simply by calling CityLink at (336) 727-8000 and completing a form.