Benton Harbor tackling illegal dumping as many consider harsher penalties
BENTON HARBOR, Mich – Illegal trash dumping continues to plague Benton Harbor as the city tackles the problem head-on.
Trash can be found scattered about in ditches and on neighborhood streets throughout the city.
"It’s kinda heartbreaking and tragic you know in the area I grew up and more and more im starting to see trash on the side of the road couches you name it,” Benton Harbor resident Cory Willis said.
Since ABC57 first brought the viewers the illegal trash dumping story in Benton Harbor city officials like Benton Harbor’s Mayor Pro Tem Duane Seats says the city is attacking the problem aggressively.
“What the Police Chief has done now is taking the active roll all hands on deck we’re gonna eliminate this problem make Benton Harbor a safer and cleaner environment,” Seats said.
Since March 21st13 people have been arrested for littering and illegal hauling.
“A lot of people who have been arrested are not local residents these are people from out of town who are coming in and bringing their trash in dumping it down the ravine dumping it in the alley dumping it in a dead end and they need to know that we’re coming at you and we are going to get you,” Seats said.
Representatives on the state level are trying to bring tougher penalties for crimes like illegal dumping.
A Michigan House Bill aims to bring current penalties for first time offenders from $500 penalty and a 90 day sentence for first time offenders to a $2,500 fine to up to a yearlong sentence.
Benton Harbor resident Cory Willis says tougher penalties at the city and state level would be a deterrent and help solve the problem.
“That’s a great idea adding more consequences for wrong doing and adding that penalty will definitely clean up the city and better the trash situation,” Willis said.
The city is planning a clean-up day for May 9th& 10th.