(Memphis) There is a crackdown underway on illegal dumping that could send some people to jail.
Memphis is asking state lawmakers to consider a new law to target commercial businesses that use the streets of Memphis to dispose of their trash.
Most of the illegal dumping sites that commercial businesses chose are in remote out-of-the-way areas that you might not always see.
However, just because it’s not happening in your neighborhood in plain view doesn’t mean you aren’t paying for it.
The city of Memphis spends thousands of dollars cleaning up messes like the one we found in one South Memphis alley.
In that spot, we saw hundreds of old shingles and wrappings from new ones.
They were all dumped for the city to clean up.
“Should the city catch one of these dumpers, we can bring them into environmental court. But the fine is only $50,” said Harold Collins, Memphis City Council Member.
That’s why the City of Memphis wants Shelby County delegates in Nashville to support laws that crack down on businesses dumping illegally.
Collins tells us what he’d like to see come out of the bill, “Illegal dumping could be a felony and that could be a penalty up to one day in jail up to maybe even two, three years in jail. Possibly, a $1,500 fine, possibly even reimbursement to the city.”
The director of Memphis public works believes most illegal dumping is tied to some type of commercial business, whether its tires, construction and demolition or old household furniture dumped by slum lords.
They avoid using landfills because of the cost.
It increases their profits but eats away at our tax dollars and robs homeowners of good property values.
“It’s real important to have a clean neighborhood because the price of the homes goes down and the value of the house goes down,” said Chris Evans, south Memphis.
Collins believes this bill will get support in Nashville because this isn’t just a Memphis problem.
He says illegal dumping by commercial businesses is a statewide problem.