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Hidden cameras, ‘no dumping’ signs go up around Savannah

More than 800 'no dumping' signs go up at hotspots around the city of Savannah.
More than 800 'no dumping' signs go up at hotspots around the city of Savannah.(WTOC)
Updated: Jun. 1, 2021 at 2:46 PM EDT
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Signs and hidden cameras are being placed in hotspots for illegal dumping around Savannah.

It’s a new effort led by the sanitation department to deter the problem and catch those responsible.

“It’s problematic on our dead end streets,” said Gene Prevatt, senior director of the City of Savannah Sanitation Department. “They are typically off the beaten path, a little bit, but they have convenient access, so someone can come in and unload a truck within just a few minutes and drive away.”

Those areas will now have an extra layer of city attention. Something welcomed by residents in the Ogeecheeton neighborhood. A new illegal dumping sign on Pate Street is what many neighborhoods across Savannah can expect to see in the coming weeks. More than 800 signs are being placed at hotspots in the city, Prevatt said.

Something they won’t see. “Hidden cameras. They will give us video of the person who is doing the dumping. Hopefully give us a license plate number we can read and hopefully we can take some enforcement action against them,” he said.

About a dozen cameras already have placed in certain areas of the city under a pilot program and in partnership with the city’s code compliance department, which monitors them. They went up earlier this year.

The initiative is one that Prevatt hopes will serve as a reminder for how to properly dispose of trash.

“Most of the things we found dumped illegally we will come to your house and pick it up anyway. We have curbside service. We go to every household once a week. We provide garage collection along with bulk pickup.”

In April, WTOC Investigates explained how troublesome 40 dumped tires became for one property owner.

Odell Caine reported the illegal dumping after a neighbor saw it happen and gave a description to police. A few days later, Caine received notice to clean up his property or face a fine. WTOC viewers who saw the report pitched in to remove the tires.

Large quantities of tires are the only thing the city won’t pick up, Prevatt said. The city will pick up a few tires per household if they are set by the curb for bulk pickup day, he added.

As for the hidden cameras, so far they have captured one person dumping items along a dead-end road, according to code compliance director Kevin Milton. That person faces a fine up to $1,000.

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