Illegal dumpers, think twice: MD of Foothills to install cameras to catch roadside offenders near Calgary

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Illegal dumpers, think twice: MD of Foothills to install cameras to catch roadside offenders near Calgary

The MD of Foothills is deploying video cameras along rural roads around Calgary to try to catch people taking out the trash — illegally.

They're hoping video surveillance will help cut down on the amount of garbage being dumped along the side of rural roads.

It's a problem some say has gotten worse this spring.

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"Often it's construction garbage, so in the most recent case there's a toilet, all the packing, shelving units," said Greg Shyba with the Ann and Sandy Cross Conservation Area, a 1,942-hectare day-use area southwest of the city.

People caught dumping illegally can face a $500 fine.

Foothills MD Mayor Larry Spilak says they're having a tough time catching the people actually doing the dumping.

He also believes some of it is the work of repeat offenders who don't live in the area but are looking to avoid paying landfill fees.

"When you drive by a very nice countryside and all of a sudden there's garbage sitting in the ditch, it's not a nice thing to look at," he said.

While the offenders may save a few dollars in tipping fees, Spilak said illegal dumping is costing the MD, so they're setting up hidden video cameras at trouble spots as a deterrent — and to try to track down the offenders.

"Licence plates are a very, very good start," he said.

"That gives us something that we can prosecute on. Faces are even better and we hope to get both if we catch anyone."

Spilak says the cameras are going up this week.