Kansas City adds more manpower to prevent illegal dumping

Illegal dumping investigators say millions are spent cleaning up illegal dumping areas throughout the year. (KCTV5)

Illegal dumping investigators say millions are spent cleaning up illegal dumping areas throughout the year.

Now, with more people joining their team, they’re hoping to get a better handle on the problem.

"One of our running jokes is everybody that illegally dumps has a baby. So, that's always a pleasant surprise when you're going digging through trash," illegal dumping investigator Alan Ashurst said.

But the mess left behind is no laughing matter. The past two years, the budget for the illegal dumping team has been around $2 million. This year, they’ve added more bodies going from two people to five. That, plus 22 cameras set up in various locations around the city are the only things checking that these areas stay cleaned up. It is a tall task with hundreds of square miles to cover.

"Even though there are more of us, we still can't be everywhere. We need witness accounts. We need people to really come out and let us know where they're happening ... what they've seen and things like that," Ashurst said.

Ashurst says the team will also be taking a new focus not just on illegal dumping sites but making sure neighborhoods stay clean as well.

Ashurst says, many people put their bulk items out before making the call to set up a pickup. Doing so ends up leaving piles of trash outside for weeks, leaving it open for people to pick through or add their own trash to the pile.

"We're really going to start focusing on the landlord set outs and the early set outs that people do with bulk items which is really going to help us keep trash down in the neighborhoods, and these extra bodies are really gonna help with that," Ashurst said.

If you see any illegal dumping, Ashurst says don’t confront them yourself but call 311 so they can begin an investigation.

Copyright 2018 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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