BALTIMORE — People across the city are fed up with the massive piles of trash left by illegal dumpers.
Mayor Brandon Scott just passed a law aimed at making illegal dumpers think twice before creating eye sores.
“This problem effects all of our city, but it disproportionately effects low-income dis-invested neighborhoods,” said Councilman Zeke Cohen.
DPW fielded 57,000 complaints about illegal dumping last year.
For months Councilman Zeke Cohen has worked with other council members and community members on the Neighbors Against Predatory Dumping act, a bill he is the sponsor of.
It was just signed into law.
It doubles the fine for first time illegal dumpers from $500 to $1000.
Brian Sweeney lives in the neighborhood and worked with the councilmen to pass this bill.
“Predatory dumping effects residents all over the city,” Sweeney said. “It’s effects them in ways that create a downward spiral. We’ve got a spot just down the street from here where there is a large pile of furniture possibly from an eviction.”
Just standing here a few minutes I had several people ask me to come look at the piles in their alleyways or streets.
We met here because the hope is that more eyesores can be turned to points of pride like the Conkling Street Garden.
“The Highlandtown Community Association maintains this space,” Sweeney said. “This is one of the efforts we’re making to show some ownership over this area.”
Cohen says there are two keys to fixing the problem- Enforcement and than removal.
“We want to make sure it is a clear message to anyone that participated in this crime that it is a crime of consequence,” Cohen said. “There are victims and those are our communities and our neighborhoods.”