Indianapolis takes on illegal dumping to clean up city

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By Marisela Burgos

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (August 28, 2014)-- More trash is getting picked up in Indianapolis that used to be an eyesore -around allies and properties- thanks to a new program, the Department of Code Enforcement reported.

Their new ‘Illegal Dumping and Trash Abatement Program’ started June 1st. Before the new program, complaints about illegal dumping and trash issues were given to different agencies. Now, those complaints will go directly to one department, which is the Department of Code Enforcement. Adam Baker said cases will be investigated quicker and trash will be cleaned up faster.

A team of Illegal Dumping and Trash Inspectors review complaints. Part of their job is to look through piles of trash for any evidence that will direct them to the person who may have dumped it. Since the start of the program, more than 10.5 tons of trash has been picked up.

“That’s 10 and a half tons that you would see across the city (that) has already (been) picked up and that’s just under 3 months that we’ve done that,” Baker said.

Baker said the department has noticed people taking care of cleaning-up their property too, once they have been notified there is a problem.

“We are seeing a lot of people start to understand the program (and) start to take  responsibility for their properties and we’re seeing communities (come) together and say 'hey, let’s just clean up our community' period,” Baker said.

If a homeowner receives a letter about trash on their property, they will also receive an affidavit. The homeowner can sign that affidavit stating they did not dump the trash. If that statement is true, officials will remove the trash for free.

If you are notified about trash on your property and you do not sign the affidavit nor clean up the trash, then you could be fined close to $400.

Baker said if someone is convicted of illegal dumping, they could be fined $2,500.

“That’s the message we’re trying to get across to the citizens who are doing these illegal activities (that) it’s not worth it,” Baker said.