Can you help DNREC identify
these illegal trash dumpers?
If you recognize the persons (or their vehicles) in the photos below, please call DNREC's 24-hour toll-free hotline, 800-662-8802. DNREC would like to question them in connection with illegal trash dumping.
Please click on each image to enlarge it for better viewing.
||The vehicle in the adjacent photos was caught by DNREC TrashStoppers' cameras before and after its driver illegally dumped construction debris at DNREC's DART Mid-County yard waste drop-off site.
man sought in connection with
DNREC's Environmental Crimes Unit is seeking information on the whereabouts of Maximo Morales Cortes, of Kennett Square, Pa., and the registered owner of the sport utility vehicle in the adjacent photo caught by TrashStoppers cameras illegally dumping waste products at DNREC's DART Mid-County Yard Waste Drop-off site.
Two men sought for illegal dumping at DART Mid-County yard waste site after a third is arrested and charged
DNREC's Environmental Crimes Unit arrested Albert B. Seeney of New Castle (in gray hooded sweatshirt in adjacent photo) February 28, 2012 for improper disposal of solid waste; the case is now pending in the Court of Common Pleas in Wilmington. The ECU also seeks to identify the two men with him in the photos in connection with illegal dumping at the DNREC DART Mid-County yard waste drop-off site near Bear.
DNREC's “TrashStoppers” campaign is the next phase of the agency’s strategy to curtail and eliminate illegal trash dumping throughout the state.
DNREC Secretary Collin O’Mara said the campaign is an outward appeal to the public for help in stopping illegal trash dumping along Delaware roadways. Trash left behind by illegal dumping is harmful to public health, mars and pollutes the landscape, and destroys the state’s natural beauty. It is also costly in cleaning up, and the public inevitably bears the brunt of those costs.
“In launching TrashStoppers this Earth Week, we are asking citizens to help us stop illegal dumping of garbage, debris, and hazardous wastes throughout Delaware,” Secretary O’Mara said. “Cleaning up the state will require everyone to pitch in and we encourage residents to call the Environmental Complaint Hotline (800-662-8802) to report trash dumpsites, provide tips on chronic dumping, and to offer help in identifying illegal dumpers.”
The public is asked to notify DNREC about any roadways or streets used for illegal dumping so the sites can be put under surveillance by digital cameras now effectively used for identifying trash dumpers. The public may also be asked to identify the trash dumpers who are caught in the act in photos to be posted on the DNREC web site as part of the TrashStoppers campaign.
Governor Jack Markell lent his voice to the TrashStoppers program. “All of us carry a civic responsibility to prevent illegal trash dumping,” Gov. Markell said. “Trash defaces property and carries clean-up costs for taxpayers. This effort is about saving money and protecting the environment at the same time. Anyone who sees illegal dumping should report it – it’s that simple.”
The TrashStoppers program builds upon the placement of numerous surveillance cameras, in use in New Castle County since last year, and which are integral to statewide cleanup efforts, according to William “Chip” McDaniel, chief of DNREC’s Environmental Crimes Unit. “Our Environmental Protection Officers do an excellent job responding to complaints and proactively patrolling our roads,” he said. “But obviously our officers can’t be everywhere, so we’re calling on citizens for help in identifying trash dumpers the cameras have caught breaking the law.”
The Delaware Department of Justice and DNREC initiated legislation, enacted in 2008, to enhance Delaware’s anti-dumping laws and penalties. Using the cameras for obtaining convictions is a strong deterrent against trash-dumping and the Attorney General’s Office was instrumental in amending the dumping law to make the registered owner of a vehicle involved in a dumping offense liable to prosecution.
The “TrashStoppers” campaign can be can be accessed online at www.dnrec.delaware.gov. Citizens can call the toll-free, 24-hour Environmental Complaint Line at 800-662-8802 to report illegal dumping activities. (Verizon Wireless customers in Delaware should call #367 on their cell phones.) All information is confidential and callers reporting illegal dumping incidents, sites used for dumping, or helping to identify trash dumpers may remain anonymous.
“In 2009, DNREC’s Environmental Crimes Unit increased proactive patrols and surveillance and investigated 472 complaints of illegal dumping in the state - an almost 15 percent increase over 2008,” said ECU Chief McDaniel. “We hope citizens will embrace the new campaign and help DNREC bring an end to illegal dumping throughout the state. Public input is instrumental in taking out these trash dumping sites—and in making sure they don’t just move somewhere else in Delaware and go unreported.”
Since the surveillance cameras were deployed last year, 14 arrests have been made on 16 illegal dumping charges, all resulting in convictions with guilty pleas. The number of cameras at illegal dumping sites throughout the state will double over the next month, thanks to a Delaware Special Law Enforcement Assistance Fund (SLEAF) grant that enabled their purchase by DNREC’s Environmental Crimes Unit. “Not only are we deploying more cameras across the state, but these cameras are very mobile, and can be put up at a site overnight for getting trash dumpers on film,” Chief McDaniel said. “What we now ask is the public’s help in telling us where to put them and point them.”
Illegally dumped trash must be cleaned up and hauled away to a permitted landfill or transfer station – resulting in significant costs to taxpayers, as well as to local and state governments. People convicted of illegal dumping must pay a minimum fine of $500 plus court costs for the first offense. For each subsequent offense, the fine increases from $500 to $1,500.