Aurora purchases three moveable cameras to help combat illegal dumping

Initial focus will be on alleys in northwest area
Posted at 6:46 PM, May 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-23 20:46:05-04

AURORA, Colo. – Illegal dumpers beware! Aurora will soon be using a new tool to track you down.

The city has purchased three moveable cameras, to use as a deterrent to illegal dumping, and to help catch the culprits.

City spokesman Michael Bryant told Denver7 that the cameras will be used in tandem at one location to deal with an issue there, and can then be moved to a second problem area.

Former city councilwoman Nadine Caldwell says illegal dumping has been problem for decades.

“We first noticed it back in 1976,” she said. “People were leaving stoves and refrigerators out in the alleys.”

Caldwell, who lives in the hardest-hit area, says stoves and refrigerators are no longer a problem.

She said they contain enough metal that scavengers scoop them up quickly.

Furniture and mattresses are are what gets left behind.

Caldwell says there is no longer a secondary market for those items because of concern about bedbugs.

When asked why northwest Aurora seems to be the dumping area of choice, Caldwell said, “The way it started is we were the only ones who had alleys. For years and years, we were the only ones.  That’s why we were a great target.”

Aurora is far from the only city dealing with an illegal dumping problem.

It was so bad in one Denver neighborhood, that the city did away with shared dumpsters and replaced them with individual trash carts.

There were times when residents had to drive over the refuse to pull into their garages.

In most cases people are dumping illegally to avoid paying out of their own pockets.

“People don’t want to pay $40 to $50 to go to the dump,” Caldwell said. “That’s what it would cost you.”

The longtime Aurora resident is optimistic the cameras will work.

She told a story about some neighborhood kids who “were messing up the alley” behind her house.

She said she got tired of it, so she told them the little black box on top of the light pole was a camera and that police were watching what they were doing.

“That was the last time they ever did it,” she said.  “They thought it was a camera but it wasn’t, so I’m all for cameras.”

The city is not yet saying what kind of cameras have been purchased, how much they cost, or when they will be installed, but one city councilman said it's possible they will include infrared capability.