Buffalo is joining hands with businesses and block clubs to go after illegal dumpers and fine them up to $1,500, Mayor Masiello said today in an appearance on West Avenue, just down the block from where he grew up.
City officials have formed a new task force to combat dumping that includes a handful of departments, the Buffalo police and the Mayor's Impact Team, the mayor said.
He complimented two West Side businesses that have agreed to help in the effort. Officials chose the site for the announcement because Westwood Squibb Pharmaceuticals and the nearby Fedco Automotive Components plants have agreed to use their security cameras to keep watch on the West Avenue viaduct at Scajaquada Creek, the mayor said.
"Our partners are helping us to identify those who illegally dump under that viaduct, and they've been dumping under that viaduct since I was 5," Masiello said, pointing to the structure near West and Forest avenues.
In praising company officials for their help, the mayor said the city also will ask residents and other businesses to join the fight against illegal dumping.
"This is a citywide effort . . . We're not going to tolerate that kind of activity, I don't care where it is," he said.
Masiello, who vowed there will be a "dedicated, tenacious effort" to go after dumpers, urged residents to report any suspicious incidents.
"Work with us. Reach out to us. Call 911 or call the mayor's hot line . . . Call the police precinct whenever you see illegal dumping," the mayor said.
Street Sanitation Commissioner Paul V. Sullivan said the city wages a daily battle to clean up after dumpers.
This is despite the fact that the city offers free trash dumping for residents at its South Ogden Street transfer station, he said.
"This is a terrible waste of our resources and our manpower," he said. "We're trying our hardest to clean up the neighborhoods, and instead we have to clean up under viaducts and abandoned lots. This is something that has got to be stopped. There's no reason for this illegal dumping to take place."
Prosecutions are expected to double this year in the city -- from 38 last year to 61 so far this year. And officials say they also have new laws to help them, including one that lets them use a license plate to place a charge.