WATERBURY, Conn. (WTNH) — Waterbury Alderman Vernon Matthews, Jr. got a picture from a resident in his district that disturbed him.
“It’s anger,” he said. “It’s pissed off. It’s frustration.”
The picture was of a pile of home repair items, paint cans, and tires that were tossed onto the side of Berkley Avenue along with a jet ski someone tossed out, too. That’s what made Alderman Matthews so mad. He says blight has been a continuing problem on city streets.
“I see people who have no respect,” he said.
In April, environmental activist Kevin Zak showed News 8 illegal dumping along Platts Mill Road. That included a bunch of tires, car parts and…
“I saw a boat!” Zak said. “It’s their private dumping ground… it’s disgusting!”
The junk Alderman Matthews saw was right across the street from a sign urging residents to report any illegal dumping by calling (203) 755-1234. The sign says you could end up with a $200 reward.
There’s also a $200 fine for anyone caught engaging in illegal dumping in the city.
Alderman Matthews may propose tougher penalties at a future Board of Aldermen meeting.
“And find out whose doing it and putting fines on them, putting liens on their houses, doing something that says hey enough is enough,” he said. “Waterbury’s not your dumping ground anymore.”
The Waterbury Police Department has told News 8 there are cameras up around the city in some of the places where illegal dumping has been occurring. The Police Department’s Blight Team is also out every day picking up large items that are left on city streets. They respond to calls from city residents.
They tell News 8 they haul away nearly a million pounds of junk a year.
“We as a Community Relations Division work hard to identify where these issues do occur and where we can find ways to mitigate this from happening and actually hold people accountable,” said Sgt. Jose Diaz.