SHELBY COUNTY, Ind. - Officials in Shelby County are cracking down on illegal trash dumping while residents continue to throw their garbage into recycling bins, which is costing the county thousands of dollars.
“We were finding food, waste, paint and oil in the recycling bins,” said Lisa Carpenter, Director of Shelby County’s Recycling District.
The county installed six security cameras at various recycling locations and caught several illegal dumpers on tape. One man was seen disposing of his old furniture.
“He threw away two mattresses, two box springs, a couch, a chair and a recliner,” said Carpenter.
Another resident decided to dump all of his junk in the recycling area.
“Several stuffed animals, Christmas decorations, along with their mail. Their mail had their name and address on it. So, we were able to track them down very easily,” said Carpenter.
The Shelby County Recycling District has a good track record for finding then fining the illegal dumpers. If they do not leave behind evidence, officials rely on the security cameras to capture their license plate number. The fines are around $200.
“We will catch you and we will fine you. It is too easy for me to do. I can find anybody who does this,” said Danny McComas of Shelby County Compliance Enforcement.
Those that are following the rules are impacted too. Illegal dumping has already shut down two of the eight recycling zones in the county and other zones could also be shut down in the near future.
“There is no reason to illegally dump in Shelby County. We have many resources to dispose of the items properly. If you do illegally dump…know we have the community watching and you will be caught,” said Carpenter.