Hancock County is installing surveillance equipment in various locations to help cut down on the area’s litter and illegal dumping problems.

As part of its new “Hancock County: Love it, Don’t Trash it” initiative, county Solid Waste Enforcement officials worked this week to install surveillance equipment in several locations around the county.

“Illegal dumping and littering has always been a problem in Hancock County,” Hancock Solid Waste/Zoning Enforcement Officer David Depreo said Tuesday.

Depreo said Hancock County Solid Waste has purchased additional high-tech surveillance equipment to stop illegal dumping.

“Select areas that have traditionally been used for dumping are being monitored,” Depreo said. “Just because this was a common practice in the past, doesn’t mean we need to continue with a bad practice.”

Signs have been placed throughout the county to warn citizens of areas being monitored, Depreo said. Anyone caught and convicted faces a $250 fine.

“Many tourism, economic development and home sales dollars are being lost due to this poor practice of illegal dumping and littering,” Depreo said. “We are spending thousands and thousands of tax dollars annually to clean our county up. Littering still remains a problem. Although the way we get most of our litter has changed.

“ A Hancock county tradition was throw it out the window. Now most litter found is coming from the beds of trucks. Any way you can secure the loose items in the truck bed will greatly cut down on our litter.”

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I despise trash -and the people who throw or dump it- as much as anyone. But..... automated surveillance cameras...automated license tag readers... the Surveillance State is creeping in. Although well intentioned, my concern is that the information can and will be misused by evil people, in ways that would never occur to the average honest person.

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