Residents and authorities have a new tool in helping to end illegal dumping in Chicago.
Earlier this year, the Chicago City Council passed an ordinance creating a two-year pilot program rewarding residents with $100 for providing information leading to an illegal dumping conviction.
Last month, the city’s 311 Center went live with the Illegal Dumping Reward Program.
Residents are encouraged to report any information about illegal dumping to 311, along with the description of the type of dumping occurring, either while in progress or after.
The aim is to severely curb the amount of illegal dumping and punish those who set out to purposefully break the law. To be eligible for the reward, the person reporting the illegal dumping will need to call 311. They have to give the location of the violation and any description witnessed of the alleged dumper.
If the suspect is found liable or guilty of illegal dumping, the witness will receive $100.
“Residents should not have to live with the threat of hazardous material being dumped next door in the dead of night,” Ald. Jason Ervin (28th) said. “This ordinance will shine a spotlight on criminals who think it’s all right to treat our neighborhoods as landfills.”
The Department of Public Health will be charged with conducting investigations and working with the city’s Law Department to charge and convict illegal dumpers. After the health department conducts its investigation, the Department of Streets and Sanitation will remove the debris and write the appropriate violation notices.
The Illegal Dumping Reward Program will be paid for by a surcharge of $20 to all illegal dumping fines imposed by the city. The fines range from a first offense of $1,500-$2,500 to subsequent violations of $2,500-$3,500.