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Kansas City proposes several approaches to crack down on illegal dumping

One option raises the minimum penalties for people caught dumping
illegal dumping kcmo trash.JPG
Posted at 4:41 PM, May 21, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — A committee of Kansas City, Missouri, council members advanced three proposals Tuesday to crack down on people who dump trash illegally throughout the city.
The full city council will decide whether to adopt the proposals Thursday afternoon.

KCMO council members Crispin Rae and Melissa Patterson Hazley teamed up on two proposals.

KCMO Melissa Robinson brought a third proposal to the table. Here’s a summary of what the proposals address:

  • Increase minimum fines for people who dump trash on vacant lots, unimproved parcels, Land Bank properties, and park land from $1 to $500. The maximum fine would remain $1,000. Repeat offenders would face a minimum fine of $750 and either 48 hours in the county jail or a sentence of community service hours spent picking up trash.
  • Allow residents to request an unlimited number of free, curbside pick-ups for bulky trash items. Residents can already request a bulky item pick-up by calling 311.
  • Organize an event for residents to drop off trash in dumpsters, most likely at the Truman Sports Complex.
  • Launch a public information campaign educating people about their options with trash and consequences of dumping trash illegally.

Aside from these proposals, the city implemented several other solutions this year. It hired more dumping investigators, bought roughly 50 more cameras to install in popular dumping areas, and is giving residents trash carts which hold more trash than the 2-bag limit which was in place before the cart program.

“This is our city, we have to keep it clean,” Vanessa Gibbs said. “This is the hero’s city, the Super Bowl champs — we want a clean city. We want people come here and say this is a clean area, not just one area, we want the whole city to be clean. That’s what we striving for."

Residents like Gibbs and Flo Dean appreciate the city putting more of an emphasis on preventing illegal dumping.

“We have to take responsibility if we want our neighborhoods to be better,” Dean said. “I want those dumpers to be caught and maybe jailed if they continue that practice because it’s not necessary.”

A 2022 audit recommended several changes to the city’s response to illegal dumping.