INDIANAPOLIS - A new city program is focused on putting a stop to illegal dumping by catching violators and helping victims.
In just the first 12 days of the program, the city has taken nearly 400 illegal dumping complaints.
East-side resident Robert Shaw says the illegal dumping is taking a toll on his neighborhood.
"It's just pathetic. Why would someone want to infringe upon our neighborhoods by dumping their trash on them. It's just an incredibly sorry situation," Shaw said.
City code enforcers said they will look through the illegally dumped trash to see if they can put a name to its owner.
More than sorry or unsightly, Code Enforcement Inspector Jay Thomas said illegal dumping creates problems on so many fronts. It's not only against city code, but it creates health issues on a wide scale for people and the neighborhoods where they live.
"We get complaints that (the trash) attracts rodents, flies, mosquitos and things that carry disease. It's just dangerous," Thomas said.
The city has become more sympathetic to the realities and the victims of illegal dumping. In addition to stepping up enforcement efforts and the pursuit of violators, code enforcement inspectors will help property owners clean up the mess without charge if they aren't responsible, said Code Enforcer Spokesman Adam Baker.
"We've got partnerships with other agencies, so that if (trash) is dumped more than twice, we'll work with that property to see what we can do to protect that," Baker said.
The city has taken a new approach to one of its oldest problems, one that for now, could lead to higher prosecutions and cleaner neighborhoods.
"I'm an environmental person. I like clean areas and clean neighborhoods. We should take pride in the way you live," resident Carrie O'Brien said.
The Department of Code Enforcement has purchased a number of motion and light sensitive cameras that will be hidden in areas that generate the most trash and complaints.
To file a report about illegal dumping, click here.