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'Culture of littering': Linwood neighbors shine light on illegal dumping in Cincinnati

'It’s almost an everyday thing that we see'
illegal dumping
Posted at 8:46 PM, Apr 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-01 20:46:44-04

CINCINNATI — One Cincinnati neighborhood is putting the spotlight on illegal dumping. Residents in Linwood shared photos online of a person dumping a large amount of trash under a basketball goal in Linwood Park Saturday morning.

“There are a lot of neighborhood kids that do come in and play and use these basketball courts," Marlene Wagner said. "That’s the majority of the usage in this park, and that really took away their opportunity to do that."

Residents in Linwood want better lighting and cameras in the park. They also want it to close at dusk.

Greg Courtland, Cincinnati Recreation Commission's supervising recreational coordinator, said Linwood is not alone in dealing with the dumping.

“For us, it’s almost an everyday thing that we see,” Courtland said. “I'll give you an example. Like today, up at Rapid Run, we just picked up a mattress.”

CRC Director Daniel Betts said he is starting to think this is the new normal in Cincinnati.

“Culture of one: dumping, but the culture of littering,” Betts said. “Citizens throwing garbage out their vehicle — I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve seen that in our city. Pet owners who don’t pick up their pet waste.”

Betts said he is not sure why people "feel that way about our environment," but said more anti-litter campaigns or better enforcement could fix some problems. A fine can cost people hundreds or thousands of dollars.

Courtland said CRC does not just clean up the mess.

"We will search through the garbage and find, you know, mail addresses, whatever is there, and then we will turn it over to our litter control and they’ll actually go out and find the people," he said.

In the Linwood case, the litter control team thought they were closing in on the person who dumped items through the mail left behind, but that may be connected to someone else.

Courtland said the cleanup alone costs taxpayers at least 40 man-hours a week.

“If you’re in the city of Cincinnati, you’re paying for the people to have to clean this up,” said Wagner.

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