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Illegal dumping at Buffalo school could mean costly fine for Amherst woman

An alleged case of illegal disposal of construction waste and other trash at a Buffalo school's dumpster could provide an Amherst woman with a painful lesson in arithmetic.

The alleged incident occurred at 8:55 a.m. Oct. 1 when an off-duty police drove by the dumpster and spotted an unidentified man dumping several boxes and sheets of plywood into a dumpster at School 81 in North Buffalo. The officer was on his way to an appointment but paused long enough on the 100 block of Tacoma Avenue to jot down the license plate of the vehicle.

Police ran a license plate check on the vehicle and state Department of Motor Vehicles records listed Najah S. Rizek of Peppertree Drive in Amherst as the owner of the 2014 Toyota. Police also obtained video of the incident from a surveillance camera outside the school.

A small dumpster, which costs a few hundred dollars to rent, would have sufficed for the material that was dumped.

But, the summons, expected to arrive in Rizek's Peppertree Drive mailbox in the next several days, could cost her a $1,500 fine, if she decides not to fight it at an administrative hearing and pleads guilty.

When contacted by The Buffalo News, Rizek expressed surprise that someone used her car to dump the material.

"I have no idea who did that. I don't know," she said.

She says she did not dump the material and has no idea who used her car to transport the material to the dumpster, where a man was spotted taking the trash from it and placing it in and around the dumpster.

Police said 4-foot by 8-foot sheets of plywood proved too big to fit inside the dumpster and the man placed them next to the bin.

When the school custodian discovered the discarded wood, he had to saw it into pieces in order to place it in the dumpster, police said.

"This should serve as a warning for anyone else doing this sort of thing," Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda said. "This summons involves a very hefty fine."

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