$50 reward for Pasco Co. residents who turn in illegal dumpers

- For county residents like Keith Carter, part of the appeal of living in Holiday is its quiet beauty. Carter captures images of that beauty from high above with his new drone.

But Carter said eye sores are ruining the scenery.

“I think people are just lazy. Instead of going to the dump like their supposed to, they throw it on the side of the road,” Carter said.

A simple drive up and down Strauber Memorial Highway reveals everything from mattresses, to TVs, to children’s bicycles – all tossed on the side of the road.

“It's really unbelievable to see how blatant some of these little bugs are,”

See illegal trash, make some cash. That’s the message from officials in Pasco County, who launched a new program to identify people dumping trash illegally.

Anyone who turns an illegal dumper in is illegible for a cash reward.

The reward is $50, and who couldn’t use 50 bucks? There are two ways to cash in:
- Identify the people illegally dumping garbage, as seen in videos released by the county. 
- Take your own video of illegal dumpers and give officials information that can lead to an arrest and prosecution.

Watch it happen in real-time.  To combat the problem, Pasco County set up more than a dozen game cameras throughout the county to catch illegal dumpers in the act.

One video shows a person dumping branches. Another reveals a guy getting rid of a pile of papers, which Tobin pointed out, easily could have gone into a trash can.

Anyone who recognizes those in the videos is asked to come collect their $50 reward.

“In order for us to have a successful prosecution, we have to video tape individuals in action,” Tobin explained.

But anyone who thinks they can catch a criminal in the act, the county says safety is first priority. 

“We just ask that people don’t put themselves in harm’s way. Don’t confront people,” Tobins added.

Pasco County has one of the stiffest penalties in the state for illegal dumping. The fine is $500 per item.

The new $50 payouts are funded from those collected fines.

Residents like Carter said it’s a good way to clean up the county. 

“I think it’s a great incentive to get people to not dump along the streets,” Carter said. 

Anyone who recognizes any of the people in those videos is asked to call the county’s tip line at 727-247-0567.

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