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Benton Harbor neighbors fed up with illegal dumping

NOW: Benton Harbor neighbors fed up with illegal dumping

BENTON HARBOR, Mich – Benton Harbor neighbors and city officials are fed up with the illegal dumping of trash.

“You know I grew up here but this ain’t what everybody here do there’s only a few people here in town with trucks that do this,” Benton Harbor resident Tony Whitfield said.

The city of Benton Harbor is declaring war on the trash problem where tires, couches and loose trash can be seen on many streets throughout the city.

“Really the last several months my number one complaint that I get is not burglaries, it’s not drugs, it’s dumping,” Benton Harbor Director of Public Safety Daniel McGinnis said.

The city says since they’ve started an investigation they’ve made four arrests and in the last three years they’ve spent $169 thousand in clean-up costs.

Benton Harbor resident Tony Whitfeld says he cleaned up a dumping site near Washington Street only for the trash to return, but he says he’ll clean it up again.

“I think I’m a get a truck and a couple guys some sticks and some nails, some buckets and trash bags and we’re gonna go out there and get on it,” Whitfield said.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality is assisting in the investigation and the clean-up.

The city is trying to increase the penalty for illegal dumping from a 30-day misdemeanor to a harsher penalty.

The city is planning a clean-up day May 9th and 10th to tackle the mess.

The city is encouraging citizens to report illegal dumping by calling the tip line at (269) 944-7929

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