By Rachel Menitoff

BALTIMORE (WJZ) — A new law out of city hall is trying to double down on illegal dumping in Baltimore.

There are signs warning against it, but that hasn’t stopped this persistent problem.

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“The victims are our communities,” Councilman Zeke Cohen said.

It’s what prompted councilman Cohen, together with community members like Ashley Esposito, to create and legislate what’s now called ‘The Neighbors Against Predatory Dumping Act. ‘

“We know this is a crime that affects every neighborhood in Baltimore,” Cohen said. “But it disproportionately impacts disadvantaged, low-income communities.”

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According to the Department of Public Works, there’s an estimated 10,000 tons of waste illegally dumped every single year. The best way to get rid of it is by calling 311.

Now anyone who dumps their trash where it doesn’t belong can be fined $1,000 dollars.

“Imagine if that day somebody’s coming to look at a house and they’re driving through the neighborhood and coincidentally that’s a day that someone came through and dumped,” Esposito said. “That could completely destroy your sale and misrepresent the neighborhood.”

Esposito said it’s a mental health concern, and that educating the next generation, like her 1-year-old son, Vinnie, is a crucial piece to solving this harmful problem.

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“The fact that they acknowledged that, yes this is an issue, and there’s room for improvement in the process, I think that’s huge,” she said.

Rachel Menitoff