Michigan lawmakers push for bill that increases illegal dumping fines

Democrat works to clean up Detroit neighborhoods with new bill

Illegal dumping in Detroit leading to major issues

DETROIT – The unpleasant sight of old furniture including mattresses, rotting dressers and other trash bags is just too much for Karen Mealing-Ford and others living in her west side Detroit neighborhood.

“Soon as they clean up, next week or next month, it’s the same thing again,” said Mealing-Ford.

She says it’s usually outsiders who continue to dump their trash and other unwanted items, sometimes from trucks on a routine basis. With no one else to turn to she’s been hoping to get help from Democratic State Representative Cynthia Johnson of Michigan’s 5th House District.

“Here you have these mattresses. That’s a haven for somebody to get raped. All they have to do is pull that mattress in over here,” said Johnson.

“This has to come to an end. They’re going to have to put their foot down and go around and start ticketing these people. Something is going to have to be done,” Mealing-Ford said.

Johnson is hoping to make that happen with House Bill 4084.

“For the first 5-cubic-feet, it would be $5,000. Every subsequent time you’re caught, it would be an additional $5,000,” Johnson explained.

Until that happens, the city says it’s going to continue to clean up the mess. DPD will be working to prevent people from dumping in the first place. The police department sent Local 4 News this statement.

“Illegal dumping is a huge quality of life issue. The Detroit Police Department will not tolerate it. We will use all of our assets available to investigate and prosecute anyone who illegally dumps in our community,” the statement read.

That can’t happen fast enough for Johnson who lives in the area.

“This is my city and I want to see it better,” Johnson added.

Until the area is cleaned some citizens have taken the matter into their own hands. Life Remodeled is looking for volunteers to clean whatever might be left behind.

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About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Natasha Dado is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit.