Metal drums, along with other material, openly dumped on the grounds of a village-owned property on Wilcox. VFP File Photo.
Wednesday, December 31, 2014 || By Michael Romain
Police are asking residents to call (708) 450-4441 if they see or hear anything leading to arrest of violators
The Maywood Police department is seeking help from residents in combating illegal fly dumping of car tires, which police say has become a particularly chronic problem of late.
“We need people to keep their eyes and ears open,” said Community Policing Officer Pirsia Allen. “If they see or hear of anyone doing illegal dumping of car tires they need to notify the police.”
Allen said that violators typically dump the discarded tires on the site of abandoned buidings. He noted that the department has identified at least four such sites across the village, but past reports indicate that there may be more.
Earlier this month, a resident complained to us directly that an abandoned house on the 400 block of South 14th Avenue had been targeted by illegal violators, who dumped dozens of tires in the home’s backyard.
Also in early December, Mayor Edwenna Perkins reported a village-owned property located between First and Second Avenues on Wilcox to the lllinois EPA after she discovered openly dumped tires and other materials on the grounds. A representative from the EPA confirmed that the village was in possible violation of the state’s open dumping rules–and perhaps even of its own Code of Ordinances.
According to an illegal dumping prevention guidebook [PDF: EPA Fly Dumping Guide] created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), fly dumping, also known as “midnight dumping,” or “wildcat dumping,” is “a major problem in many communities throughout the United States.”
The activity is known by those various terms, according to the EPA guidebook, because it often involves violators dumping materials in open areas, “from vehicles along roadsides, and late at night.”
Maywood police didn’t say what time of day the dumping here in town typically occurs, but the EPA noted that the activity is more common late at night or in the early morning hours. It’s also more common when its warm, the manual states.
Illegal dumping presents myriad health and environmental risks. Dump sites often attract rodents and scrap tire piles, in particular, have been known to harbor disease-carrying mosquitos. The sites can also be bastions for gang and drug activity and may be particularly alluring, but dangerous, attractions for young children.
“In addition, countless neighborhoods have been evacuated and property damage has been significant because of dump sites that caught fire,” the manual states.
Dumping also decreases property values and makes the neighborhood in which it occurs less attractive to potential commercial and residental developers.
Dumping is a crime at virtually all levels of government — Federal, state and local. Section 92.28 of Maywood’s Code of Ordinances regulates dumping:
“(A) The owner, occupant or lessee of any premises in the Village shall remove from his premises or otherwise dispose of all garbage, ashes, rubbish and refuse and shall keep the premises free and clear of any accumulation of any such refuse.
(B) Pending disposal of garbage from any premises, the garbage shall be deposited in watertight containers with close fitting covers. Pending disposal from any premises, cans, bottles, metalware and similar inorganic household rubbish shall be deposited in rigid containers. All garbage and refuse shall be so stored as not to invite insects or rodents or be unsightly or a nuisance.
(C) No person shall deposit any garbage , rubbish or refuse on any street or public place or on any public or private property not his own except at any dump site which may be authorized by the Board of Trustees.
(D) No person shall bury any garbage within the Village.”
Maywood police are asking that any resident with knowledge of illegal dumping activity that could possibly lead to identifying and punishing perpetrators to call its investigations unit at (708) 450-4441. Sgt. Corey Cooper is leading this investigation. VFP