MEMPHIS, TN— If you're caught dumping trash illegally in the near future, you can expect a big fine and your car impounded. It's all part of an effort to clean up the city. The "illegal-dumping" ordinance is up for a final reading at this week's city council meeting. Councilman Lee Harris sponsored it and says it's been a "long time coming."
The ordinance is a comprehensive reform to clean up the streets of Memphis, help taxpayers save money, and go after criminals. Fines go as high as $5,000 and the city will impound your car.
If the ordinance passes, hidden cameras will be installed throughout the city to catch the dumpers but they're not cheap. One hidden camera can cost up to $20,000 but before taxpayers choke on that number Harris says it's money well invested and will cut costs for the city in the long run.
"We spend about a half million a year just to clean up illegal dump sites so hopefully if we have stiff penalties and have positive incentives then we'll be able to mitigate some of those costs,” said Harris. “Taxpayers will be happy if we're spending money on services that are actually going to make a difference in people's lives."
Maybe then the streets of Memphis will finally get cleaned up.
"I'm very hopeful, I’m very anxious it'll happen sometime soon because we're looking to do something,” said the councilman.
The city plans to use a proto-type hidden camera for a few months then decide how many to purchase. Public works and Sky Cop are working together to develop the cameras. City council will hear the final reading on the ordinance this Tuesday.