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Exclusive: Illegal Dumping Turns East New York Neighborhood Into Rodent And Bug-Infested Nightmare

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- People living in an East New York neighborhood say they're fed up. Their streets have turned into a illegal dumping ground.

Residents told CBS2's Hazel Sanchez on Wednesday their pleas for help have gone unanswered.

Busted bike parts, rundown furniture and kitchen rubbish are the types of things you'd expect to find at a garbage dump. But the view outside Sharon Toney's home of 20 years is shocking.

"It's getting more and more and more. People are coming and trucks dropping their garbage and leave," Toney said. "People from all over this neighborhood come and dump their trash over here.

"And this is a school and if any of these kids get bit by one of these rats around here then who is it to blame?" another resident said.

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East New York illegal dumping
Despite a hefty fine for illegal dumping, people are still dropping off their garbage in some streets in east New York, Brooklyn, and residents who live their are furious. (Photo: CBS2)

Toney lives on Barriman Street, right behind East New York Elementary School of Excellence. The school properly puts out its trash across the street from her home, but Toney said she and her neighbors have been complaining to the city about people dumping their personal garbage right along with it, attracting bugs and rodents.

"The smell. Forget about the smell," Toney said.

"We've reported it over the years many times," resident Pamela McNeal added. "It's rodent infested. It's disgusting and nobody cares."

One resident took pictures over the last two years to document the ongoing problem.

Neighbors told CBS2's Sanchez illegal dumping in the area certainly isn't a new problem, and they said new signs warning of the consequences aren't making a difference. A $20,000 fine is seemingly no deterrent.

"People don't want to pay to go to the dump," resident William Torres said. "They gotta charge you to dump something."

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On Wednesday, CBS2 informed the Department of Sanitation about illegal dumping. Late in the afternoon a crew came out to sweep up the mess after the personal garbage was hauled away. Neighbors said they're afraid to take action.

"If we say something to people who are dumping their trash, we might get shot or house burned up. You all need to do something about this," one resident said.

The Department of Sanitation said its district garage and enforcement teams are aware of the problem, but did not say if any preventative measures will be taken.

Any tipster who helps the city catch an illegal dumper in the act is eligible for a reward of up to 50 percent of the fine collected. The tipster can remain anonymous.

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