3 men face charges, fines in illegal dumping in Penn Hills | TribLIVE.com

3 men face charges, fines in illegal dumping in Penn Hills

Dillon Carr
Two men are seen on a hidden camera placed along Beechford Road in Penn Hills dumping debris from a box-truck.

Penn Hills administration said Monday it caught three men on video as they illegally dumped furniture, debris and garbage on Beechford Road.

The men — Ricky Stallworth Jr. of Wilkinsburg, Aaron Evans of Pittsburgh, and Michael Smith of Carnegie — each face civil charges, along with individual fines of $2,000 and clean-up expenses.

Penn Hills Manager Scott Andrejchak said the charges follow a new strategy to address the “outrageous and brazen” illegal dumping within the municipality.

“Penn Hills is committed to curing the wider problem of blight that dumping brings. Dumping invites litter, which poisons a community and encourages blight. … It is an insult to everyone in this community. If you come here to dump, you will be identified publicly and Penn Hills will hand you a bill for thousands of dollars,” Andrejchak said in a news release.

Since May, the maximum fine that offenders face for dumping in Penn Hills increased to $2,000, plus clean-up costs. It was previously set at $500.

In years past, Penn Hills placed dumpsters at sites commonly used for illegal dumping, believing the dumpers would use the containers. When dumpers ignored them and continued to litter the streets and hillsides, public works employees would collect the debris, transport it and repeat the process. The contract with Republic Services, the municipality’s garbage removal company, allows five free dumpsters a year – but Public Works Superintendent Scott Shepard has said Penn Hills uses anywhere from 10 to 20 per year.

Each additional dumpster cost $500.

A 2017 study by Allegheny Clean Ways, an affiliate of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful, counted 43 illegal dump sites located within Penn Hills. Most were located less than 100 feet from homes along roadways and wooded hillsides, the report said.

Penn Hills in 2018 was awarded state grant money to rent three surveillance cameras but they never produced a culprit. The three men recently caught were seen on cameras purchased and installed in May.

Andrejchak said the mayor and council are considering amendments to its codified ordinances to change illegal dumping from a civil to criminal offense, allowing for penalties that include incarceration..

“We want to make it a crime to dump. And we’re not going to stop until all dumping stops,” he said.

Andrejchak said the municipality will hold a press conference at the municipal center on Wednesday to discuss the dumping issue and seek help from the public to find others seen on video that law enforcement has not been able to identify.

Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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