Trash Dumped in Worcester ‘Makes the City Look Bad'

From trash bags and tires to furniture and broken bikes — people are illegally dumping trash in the city of Worcester, Massachusetts. And the city's Quality of Life Task Force wants you to know they're watching.

"You will get caught," said Dan Cahill, Worcester's senior sanitary inspector. "We're coming after you."

They've put upwards of 20 new surveillance cameras in known "hot spots" tied into the police department's camera system – and they've seen everything, from trash bags thrown out of a moving car, to mattresses tossed off of a pickup truck.

"We've got instant access to that camera right away, so we can be dispatched to incidents immediately rather than take the film and have somebody review it, so it can help us actually catch the person doing the dumping," Worcester Police officer Michael Giardi, who's also on the task force, said.

And if they can't catch them in the act, they have found several ways to track down the suspects.

"We'll go through bags if we have to," Cahill said. "If it's a bulk item, like a couch, a mattress or something like that, we'll review the tape, run the license plate and go from there."

"They get a letter, seven days to clean it up, and then if they don't, we'll come, we'll pick it up, we'll move it and fine them," said Joe Simone, the city's nuisance inspector.

The task force said it has found it's a mix of residents and people from outside the city who they've caught dumping trash illegally.

"It makes the city look bad when they've got trash dumped everywhere," said Megan Moore of Worcester.

"It just looks bad in Worcester, they just make Worcester look bad," agreed Taianisha Martinez of Worcester.

Some are hopeful this new push will help clean up the city.

"If it's widespread and they think it's going to help, I think it could be beneficial," said Peter Gunn, who works in Worcester.

Cahill says fines generally range from $200-$2,000 — but it's all in an effort to prevent the dumping from happening in the future.

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