CHICAGO – (September 4) Residents and authorities have a new tool in helping to end illegal dumping in Chicago, and that tool is ready for use. In May of this year, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance creating a two-year pilot program that rewards residents with a $100 for providing information leading to an illegal dumping conviction. On August 5th, the City of Chicago’s 311 Center went live with the Illegal Dumping Reward Program.
Residents are encouraged to report any information regarding illegal dumping to 311 along with the description of the type of dumping occurring, either while in progress or after. The purpose of this program is to severely curb the amount of illegal dumping and punish those who set out to purposefully break the law and putting children and families in our neighborhood in danger.
To be eligible for the reward, the person reporting the illegal dumping will need to call ‘311’ and give the location of the violation and any description witnessed by of the alleged illegal dumper. If the dumper is found liable or guilty of illegal dumping, the witness to the dumping will received their $100 reward.
“Residents should not have to live with the threat of hazardous material being dumped next door in the dead of night,” stated Alderman Ervin. “This ordinance will shine a spotlight on criminals who think it’s alright to treat our neighborhoods as landfills.”
“This ordinance is an important step forward in ensuring the streets of Chicago are safe and secure for all residents, while reducing illegal dumping which so often becomes blights on our beautiful neighborhoods,” said Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
The Department of Public Health will be charged with conducting an investigations and working with the Law Department to charge and convict illegal dumpers. After the Department of Public Health conducts their investigation the Department of Streets and Sanitation will remove the debris and write the appropriate violation notices.
The Illegal Dumping Reward Program will be paid for by a surcharge of $20 to all illegal dumping fines imposed by the City of Chicago to help offset the reward program. The fines for illegal dumping range from a first offense of $1,500 to $2,500 to subsequent violations of $2,500 to $3,500.
“I, along with many residents, am proud that this program is expense neutral. There will not be any additional city employees hired to administer the program nor any undue burdens place on budgets. By working together, we have made this part of City government more efficient and effective,” states Ald. Ervin.
The Ordinance, O2012-7244, was passed by the City Council on May 8, 2013. The Illegal Dumping Reward Program is current live and available for residents to call in a report illegal dumping through the 311 System.