September 11, 2012

Using Video Surveillance to Stop Illegal Dumping

Illegal dumping causes residents of communities great frustration. It also causes damage to the local landscape—both aesthetically and environmentally.

One thing that is frustrating about the issue, as is stated in an article published in the Republican online newspaper in Springfield, MA on October 19th, 2010, is that these dumpers could just as easily have used traditional means with little or no extra cost.

Pictured above is an infrared security camera used for viewing objects in the dark.

It would be more conceivable to imagine catching violators dumping in spots in and around the city—spots where surveillance cameras could easily be mounted and provided with power in a traditional fashion.

But the Springfield police, the park departments and the state worked together to alleviate this problem in a wooded area (where cameras aren’t always used) to catch the wrongdoers on film—13 of them in fact.

It was done with battery operated special cameras that did not need a traditional power supply. They were infrared “night vision” so as to be able to read the license plates of the vehicles. Also, they are motion detection cameras, so they don’t waste the batteries’ juice by recording in times of non-action. They only record when something comes into the field of view.

And it seems that illegal dumping knows no boundaries, as our examples today depict stories from the east coast and gulf coast.

According to an article published on out of Dallas, TX on November 9, 2010, illegal dumping there includes anything form dead animals to stolen cars and is costing the city approximately one million dollars to combat.

The piece also states, likes Springfield’s approach, that Dallas uses motion activated cameras. These work from up to 250 feet away and can also read license plates.’s report shows that Dallas is taking it a step further with its electronic devices. Not only can they record the dumpers’ actions and can catch them in the act as they sort of let them “shoot themselves in the foot”, they can attempt to prevent it from happening in the first place.

This is accomplished by the cameras playing a recorded message when motion is detected and the dumping is about to begin. It may cause the wrongdoers to change their minds.

Also, Dallas isn’t always trying to hide the cameras. They are allowing for a preventive approach to once again attempt to stop the dumping before it occurs if the dumpers see the cameras first.

The article closes with the following enlightening statement: “Fort Worth officials reported about 6 arrests a year for illegal dumping before the cameras, but almost one a day afterward.”

So if your community has a problem with illegal dumping, there are various solutions. Whether you want to install battery operated security cameras in the woods, or use motion activated voice commands that warn the potential dumpers that they’re being watched, there are choices abound to keep your community clean.

Thanks for spending some time with us today.


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