The City of Houston (COH) is beginning a pilot project to catch those responsible for illegal dumping. Funding for the project, approximately $250,000, was provided by a budget amendment presented by District B Council Member Jerry Davis. Five surveillance cameras have been placed at undisclosed locations in Davis’ northeast Houston City Council district.
The exact locations of the cameras will NOT be made public. During the three-month pilot project, Houston Police Department’s (HPD) Environmental Investigations Unit (EIU) will monitor and maintain all activity captured by the cameras. When signs of illegal dumping are observed, EIU will send the information to HPD’s North or Northeast Divisions for follow-up. It is estimated 50 to 80 cases will be generated each month.
The following information will help in deciding whether or not the program should be expanded:
Number of violations
Number of people involved
Pounds, volume, or cubic feet of items dumped
Types of arrests and charges
Types of trash being dumped (furniture, garbage, tires, tree trimmings etc.)
Interviews with the suspects to determine why they dumped at this location, have they dumped before, do they know about the COH sites for legal elimination of items.
The COH offers monthly Tree Waste and Junk Waste collection and operates several drop-off facilities. Information about the Tree Waste and Junk Waste collection schedule for your neighborhood as well as the locations of the neighborhood depositories is available by calling the 311 helpline.
311 is also the place to call to report illegal dumping. Additionally, you can make a report online by downloading the 311 app or by visiting www.houstontx.gov/311.