Cameras being used to catch illegal dumpers

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Shelby County government is now using cameras to curb illegal dumping.

Hidden cameras recently bought by Shelby County are busting people who illegally dump tires, trash, tree limbs and construction debris.

Just last month, nearly 100 tires were dumped on the side of the road in South Memphis, and police don’t know where they came from or who put them there.

The cameras captured some dumpers within 24 hours of being set up the cameras.

Mya Jones tells WREG it’s about time the county did something.

“It’s crazy! Ridiculous really. it’s ridiculous,” she said.

Jones is sick of seeing people drive down her street dumping their trash. She says it stinks up the whole road, and is thrilled to hear the county is finally doing something about it.

“When it’s hot, it gets really bad.”

The county’s department of public works says they spend nearly $100,000 a year cleaning up trash in this area, so they bought three of cameras for about $18,000 to monitor the problem.

Tom Needham expects they’ll pay for themselves quickly. In fact they already caught one person this morning.

“We turned it over to the sheriff and the sheriff is in the process of doing something about that,” he said.

These cameras can see your face, your car model and even your license plate. In fact, they’ll soon be able to talk to you, too.

They will say, “You are in a restricted area, your picture has been taken. You must leave immediately.”

Jones tells us she didn’t know the camera on her street was up and running Wednesday, but she was happy to hear the news. She thinks this will really help.

“I think they’ve done what they need to do. The cameras might just do it,” she said.

Needham plans to set up another camera in the Millington area. He says they will rotate locations once problem areas clear out.

Public Works employees are working daily with sheriff’s deputies to identify violators caught on camera.


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