FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — Trash a New Jersey park, and your reputation may be trashed online.
As CBS 2’s Tony Aiello reported Friday, the State of New Jersey has launched a website to expose people who are dumping illegally.
New Jersey has almost a million acres of state parks and protected open space – great places to recreate or relax.
But those open spaces are also popular spots to dump unwanted trash, which has piled up to the point that the state is cracking down.
“These are people who consciously make an effort to load up their truck with whatever stuff they have at their home or construction site and put it on our properties — places where people like to convene with Mother Nature,” said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Bob Considine.
A similar incident has been set up in the state of Delaware, where a group of men was snared by new, hidden surveillance cameras to catch them in the act.
When New Jersey officials receive the same kind of pictures, they may be posted on a website so the public can help identify the dumpers. If they are convicted, their names will be posted as sort of a public “shame on you.”
“If somebody Googles your name, do you want that stigma?” Considine said. “You’re going to have to ask yourself that question before you dump on our property.”
Beyond the hidden cameras, there will also be tougher enforcement. When parks workers do find a significant amount of trash that’s been dumped, they will go into detective mode to try to discover the source.
The workers will comb through the mess, looking for items such as envelopes or receipts with names and addresses.
“I think it’s a good thing that they’re trying to find out who did it,” said Anita Ho of Old Bridge, N.J. “It’s not right to just dump your stuff in a park.”
“You’re ruining our environment,” added Jeff Grant of Somerset, N.J. “You know, these natural parks, and these streams are they’re hard to come by anymore.”
State officials said they expect to post the photos of violators next month.
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