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City officials use technology to crack down on illegal dumping

HOUSTON – A program to curb illegal dumping in Harris County has led to multiple arrests.

The Harris County Precinct 1 Constable's Office has set up hidden cameras in about five problem areas.

Their message is very clear: If you decide you are going to dump your trash illegally, you will get caught. In most cases, red-handed.

"They target this area because we are so close to all the expressways," Dwight Boykins, Houston City Council, said.

From trash, to tires, to large couches; it's not only against the law, it's dangerous.

"It's twofold: it can lead to severe flooding because of the blockage of the piping with trash and debris; and two, it can spread, with mosquitoes and other things, it can spread disease as well," Constable Alan Rosen said.

With that in mind, the city and county have increased the punishment for illegal dumping.

"The larger the quantity or the larger the weight, the more severe the penalty is, all the way up to felonies," Rosen said.

The precinct has 65 cameras at its disposal. At least two cameras at each location are monitored 24 hours a day.

Since the cameras went up in January, 178 people have been charged with illegal dumping.

Here is a link to the legal dumping sites in the city of Houston.