Dunn-sponsored legislation acknowledged as helping victims of illegal dumping and residents on a low or fixed income
StoryThe illegal dumping initiative sponsored by Metropolitan King County Councilmember Reagan Dunn in 2008 has proven to be a great success, according to a report released by King County’s Solid Waste Division. The November 2009 report says the ordinance has assisted victims of illegal dumping as well as helping residents on a low or fixed income to remove unwanted waste from their property.
“The Community Cleanup Assistance Program (CCAP) was designed to help victims of illegal dumping and stop illegal dumping by helping people afford to dump their trash legally,” said Dunn. “We knew it was having an impact, but the report has shown us just how effective the legislation has been.”
Residents who own property that is isolated or overgrown are often times victims of illegal dumping because people who are trying to dump their waste look for areas where they won’t be caught dumping it out of their cars and trucks. Under the CCAP, when a citizen calls the County, an inspector comes out to the home and determines if they are a victim of illegal dumping or on a low or fixed income and cannot remove their waste. The inspector would then provide the person with a vouchers to pay for disposal of the waste.
“Imagine coming home to find old cars, sofas, appliances and sometimes just plain junk scattered all over your property and with no one around to blame,” said Dunn. “In the past , the victim had to shoulder the costs of cleaning it up and the hassle of taking it to the dump. This is a huge problem in the rural areas of King County and for low income homeowners who need assistance with the dumping fees.”
Dunn said as of September 2009, King County has issued over 421 vouchers with 222 of them being redeem by residents all over the county. Not only are individuals using the vouchers to remove garbage, neighborhoods are using them to clear dumping grounds. The ordinance has also help clear and close more than two dozen code compliance cases.
“The CCAP program has done a great job of creating a partnership between the County, its cities and citizens,” said Dunn. “We now have good will instead of anger and frustration. It’s a win-win outcome for all of us.”