Code enforcement and Keep Tyler Beautiful teamed up to combat illegal dumping by cleaning a secluded area with high amounts of littering Thursday.
In a state-wide effort to combat illegal dumping, a training is being held Thursday and Friday in Tyler. Part of that training involved picking up trash.
Members of the Code Enforcement Association of Texas, Tyler Code Enforcement officers and Keep Tyler Beautiful board members and volunteers met at 2115 Sunnybrook Dr. around 2:00 p.m.
The cleanup focused on a section of South Vine Avenue from 10th Street to Graham Drive, as this area has been identified as a site of illegal dumping and blight in the city.
"This is an area where we have a lot of littering where people throw trash out the window and it's kind of off the beaten path,” said Chris Lennon, Code Enforcement Manager of Tyler.
Roughly 40 people walked up and down the street, picking up trash and putting it where it belongs.
"We have people down here from Laredo,” Lennon said. “We have people from El Paso, College Station - it's just all over the state of Texas."
The afternoon cleanup wasn't for everybody.
It's a chance for a code enforcement officer to get his continuing education units that's required to keep his license," Lennon said.
He said any kind of littering can result in a hit to your wallet. The fine is going around $200 to $300, and that can be just for a small amount – even a gum wrapper.
In Tyler, anything over five pounds is considered a Class C misdemeanor, and the city has a track record of holding litter bugs accountable.
"We have a 100% conviction rate on illegal dumping cases, you're going to pay the minimum of $65 for court costs,” Lennon said.
There are 17 surveillance cameras in the city, and within minutes, the city can obtain a license plate.
"Don't mess with Texas. We'll come visit you,” Lennon said.