DEER LAKE — The Town of Deer Lake is getting serious about catching people illegally dumping refuse.
This week they installed digital cameras to try and track them down. Mayor Dean Ball said the location of the cameras is being kept under wraps, and the plans are for the units to be moved around periodically.
The town will be monitoring areas, he said, that have become a problem for illegal waste dumping in recent years.
“This is one of those issues that we need to deal with,” he said. “This is something we have to nip now, this shouldn’t be an issue in this day and age, adults shouldn’t be carrying on this way.”
It’s not the first time the town has tried cameras. Two were set up last year, one of which went missing, but Ball is confident that the program will work and people will be caught.
“Unfortunately we will get some, people don’t realize it’s pretty easy to find out where a garbage bag comes from,” he said. “We’re just hoping that it will stop and that it won’t be an issue.”
Funding for the cameras was provided by the Multi-Materials Stewardship Board, but the units were installed by Town of Deer Lake employees. The town police have been trained in how to use them.
Deer Lake isn’t the first community to consider cameras to curb illegal dumping. Earlier this year, Pasadena officials had to clean up a section of road that was littered with garbage and town officials there were talking about installing the units. As of Thursday they were still working on it, and according to Pasadena superintendent Stewart Foote, they are looking into the same program that provided Deer Lake with the cameras.
In a statement, the town said the minimum penalty for a conviction for illegal dumping is $500, with a maximum of $10,000 or three months in jail. Any corporation convicted can face a fine of up to $1 million.
The release said that no warnings will be issued, and that anyone caught will be prosecuted.