City seeks tougher penalties against illegal dumping

To combat the illegal disposal of furniture, tires and debris on roadsides and alleys, Baltimore City wants the state to assess an eight-point penalty on the driver's licenses of those convicted.

Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake said the city spends more than $16 million annually on illegal dumping and issued nearly 600 citations last year. She is petitioning the General Assembly to pass legislation that requires the courts to notify the Motor Vehicle Administration when a person is convicted of illegal dumping using their vehicle so the points can be added to their driving record.

"We need tougher penalties," Rawlings-Blake said Tuesday on N. Rose Street, where a pile of used tires was left near the entrance to Baltimore Cemetery. "Sometimes a citation isn't enough of a deterrent for this crime.

"Illegal dumping makes our city dirty. It frustrates our residents. It clutters our streets, our alleys and our waterways."

The state's Litter Control Law currently does not assess points for illegal dumping, but it allows the court to suspend an individual's driver's license for seven days. If a driver accumulates 12 points, his or her license is revoked.

Residents can use any of eight drop-off centers or call 311 for free bulk trash pick-up. The hotline is also available to report people for dumping their trash.

The city has a special investigations unit for enforcement and also uses solar-powered cameras to catch violators. Forty-five people were convicted last year.

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