Caught on camera: Laveen resident confronts man dumping trash on street

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LAVEEN, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) -

The praise is piling up for a Laveen homeowner who took a stand against piles of trash in his neighborhood.

Kevin Harper says he saw someone illegally dumping garbage bags on Vineyard Road and 37th Lane Sunday while driving to breakfast with his wife. He made a U-turn, rolled down his window and started recording.

[VIDEO: Laveen resident confronts man dumping trash on street]

“That is illegal and I have got you on video, buddy. Pick your s*** back up or I'm going to call the cops,” he tells the man in the video.

“I got steaming mad,” Harper said in an interview Tuesday. “I got red in the face.”

“Yeah, I was pretty upset,” he added with a laugh.

As the man walks back toward the pile of bags, Harper notes his license plate aloud along with a description of him.

Harper then pulls his car in front of the man’s sedan to keep him from driving away and his wife, in the passenger seat, notices something: two signs just feet away that say “No Dumping Allowed.”

“It says right there on the sign ‘No Dumping,’ and this guy wants to be an ******* and do it anyway!” he says in the video.

Without saying a word, the man loads the bags back into his car.

[RELATED: Laveen neighbors fight back against illegal dumping]

“I just wish more people would stand up and say no whenever they see that,” Harper said in the interview.

Harper posted the video, which includes clear images of the man’s face and license plate, on Facebook. Dozens of people left plaudits, including HOA president Tony Berastegui.

“It's about time!” he said.

Neighbors in Laveen have been grappling with bouts of illegal dumping for years and recently started taking an aggressive stand on social media.

After Arizona’s Family reported in August on illegal dumping at a site nearby on 47th Avenue, the city’s Public Works Department said it stepped up monitoring efforts in the area. The City is considering adding surveillance cameras in some areas and is currently evaluating potential sites, according to Public Works Deputy Director Jesse Duarte.

“Through media, through social media, through the reports you guys are doing, the city has kicked it up a notch. I've seen that,” Berastegui said.

He says the extra attention from the city has made an impact, but he says the video shows neighbors need to continue keeping a watchful eye and reporting incidents.

What to do about illegal dumping

If you see illegal dumping in progress, the City’s website encourages you to call the police non-emergency line at 602-262-6151. Although the website does not say it, pictures and video may help police effect an arrest. 

If you spot dumped trash after the fact, call Public Works at 602-262-6251. You can also report litter or debris using PHX At Your Service.

Duarte said the City will work with neighbors in particularly troublesome spots to install “no dumping” signs. If that doesn’t work, he said the City can install surveillance cameras.

How to properly dispose of bulk trash

The City of Phoenix will pick up bulk trash from residents for free once every three months. The schedule and the list of unacceptable items are available here.

If you can’t wait for your scheduled bulk trash pickup date, anyone with proof of Phoenix residency can drop off up to 2,000 pounds of trash at a transfer station once a month – again, for free.

All the information about Phoenix’s two transfer stations at 30205 N. Black Canyon Hwy. and 3060 S. 27th Avenueis available here.

Editor's note: A previous version of this story said the City encouraged witnesses to call 911 if they saw illegal dumping in progress. The City updated its website and now encourages witnesses to call the non-emergency line at 602-262-6151.

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