MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) — Hidden cameras catching people who illegally dump their trash may soon come true. It's a new project Memphis City Councilman Lee Harris is proposing to tackle blight. Frustrated residents want their neighborhoods cleaned, the culprits caught and fined. Under this proposal, people who are caught illegally dumping their trash would be fined up to $5,000 and their cars could also be impounded.
Tanja Mitchell from Uptown has seen enough.
"It's just ugly and nasty and it brings the neighborhood down,” Mitchell stated.
According to Public Works there are more than 100 dumping spots across the city.
"I jog past this street all the time,” Councilman Harris said as he refers to Mud Island Drive. “Right here behind the trees trucks are coming in all the time back and fourth dropping off tires, dropping off debris, and they're doing it with impunity because nobody is here to catch them."
Not if Harris has his way. He wants city council to approve his plan to install hidden cameras, catch illegal dumpers in the act, record their license plate, and make them pay a hefty fine. Harris says to clean up one dump area, like the one on Mud Island, costs the city up to $2,000.
"Public Works spends $500,000 every year on dumping. Some months they spent $20,000 or $30,000 easily just to send trucks out," said Harris.
Mitchell loves the idea about installing hidden cameras, if that'll keep litter bugs out of her neighborhood.
“If I'm speeding there are cameras that will catch me speeding so why not catch those dumping illegally,” said Mitchell.
The anti-dumping cameras would cost between $7,000 and $8,000 each. Harris will meet with the Department of Public Works and the Memphis Police Department next week to finalize his proposal. City Council could take up the matter in early August.