According to Pueblo City officials, more people are trying to cut corners and are illegally dumping to save money, but in turn it’s now costing the city and taxpayers big bucks.
The trash includes everything from tires to old tennis shoes.
“It’s a huge concern,” Pueblo City Council member, Steve Nawrocki said.
City officials with the planning and zoning department say the illegal dumping is costing the city roughly $100,000 a year and that's just to clean up alleys and streets. City leaders believe a combination of factors are driving more people to dump.
“The economy, higher land fill fees, and large population of low-income families are all contributing to the problem,” Nawrocki said. “If you have the choice of paying your rent or putting food on the table, people are going to cut those corners and trash would be one of them.”
While illegal dumping is difficult to enforce, city leaders say something must be done to combat what they call a “skyrocketing” problem.
“It really is a community wide effort that we need to have to solve this problem,” Nawrocki said.
City leaders and enforcers are considering solutions such as offering recycling in the community, having mandatory trash pick up and creating more dump sites that are smaller in size across Pueblo. They are also open to creative suggestions.
Pueblo residents will be able to legally discard their household trash at a free dumping day coming up on May 19th at the South Side Landfill, located 3 miles west of the intersection of Northern and Pueblo Boulevard on the Beulah Highway. However old tires are not free.
If you are caught illegally dumping you can face up to a $1,000 fine for each incident with the possibility of jail time.