By Sean Barron
Mari Wren Petrony wants those who intend to dump garbage and other unwanted items in the city and Mahoning County to know that someone will be watching.
“The message I want to get out is that we will catch you, we are watching, and we won’t tolerate it,” Petrony, assistant director of the Mahoning County Green Team, said after Thursday’s county commissioners’ meeting.
The Green Team handles the county’s recycling, waste- reduction and litter-prevention programs.
She was referring to surveillance cameras that will be installed this summer throughout Youngstown, especially at known illegal dump sites, to record illegal activity.
The cameras should be up and running in about 30 days, she said.
The city has at least six well-known dumping sites, and the cameras will allow Green Team officials to gather information to prosecute and fine offenders, Petrony said.
Cameras are one of the most-effective means to catch offenders, help reduce the amount of discarded trash and ensure the city and county remain cleaner, she added.
Tires are the No. 1 item some people and businesses dispose of illegally, followed by debris from construction and demolition sites, she continued.
The Green Team has six, free tire drives a year in which residents can get rid of up to 10 tires at a time, Petrony noted, adding that the heaviest amount of illegal dumping occurs in the spring.
The Green Team has partnered with the city to buy and mount the cameras, Petrony said.
The total amount the Green Team gave was $12,000, enough for two cameras. The city purchased 10 cameras to catch dumpers. The total amount for all the cameras was $55,000.
For more information on tire and other drives, call the Green Team at 330-740-2060, or go to www.greenteam.cc for a list of drives and other events.