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'It's killing us slowly': Cincinnati city budget includes emergency spending to address illegal dumping

Illegal dumping tires
Posted at 5:54 PM, Jun 27, 2022

CINCINNATI — The City of Cincinnati mounted a $300,000 attack on illegal dumping through the new budget approved by City Council and Mayor Aftab Pureval.

Their plan uses money from an American Rescue Plan grant and targets nuisance dump sites for clean-up, new secure vinyl-coated fencing, new signs and a mobile surveillance camera program to identify offenders.

The amount of litter Margaret Leggler sees around her home in the Villages of Roll Hill angers her.

"I'm ready to get out of here," she said. "It's disgusting."

Leggler's gripe is part of a city-wide problem with hundreds of complaints filed through an online survey.

"It's killing us slowly," one person surveyed wrote.

Another person called dumping around Cincinnati "embarrassing." — "Makes me afraid for my security and distressing."

A third person surveyed said "going down Roebling Hill to Delhi is a dump zone. Need cameras put there."

Council's budget passed Thursday includes emergency spending on the issue.

"Keep Cincinnati Beautiful" already manages a system of 40 cameras that have been used to catch, fine and prosecute offenders. The group will now have funds to add another 30 cameras to its pilot program. Council member Liz Keating believes it will calm the nuisance.

"That would be amazing," Leggler said.

In a separate high-tech move, the Metropolitan Sewer District of Greater Cincinnati beefed up protection against dumping into wastewater systems. The district began installing sensors able to detect pollutants before they reach treatment plants. The first is in Blue Ash.

"We're somewhat early in the process, but if it proves to be somewhat useful I think we're probably going to deploy more," said Scott Bessler, MSD assistant superintendent of the complaint services division.

Whatever the plan, people fed up with dumping want results sooner than later.

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