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Yonkers Residents Can Earn Cash For Helping To Crack Down On Illegal Dumping

YONKERS (CBSNewYork) – Your cellphone can now help clean up one Westchester County city.

Yonkers officials want people to report illegal dumping and littering by snapping a photo or video. The information you provide could earn you a big reward.

As CBS2's Brian Conybeare reported, the "No Dumping" signs posted in parts of Yonkers are very clear, but too many people simply ignore them.

On Lamartine Avenue by the Old Croton Aqueduct Trail a pile of tires, a box and plastic piping, an old seat pulled from a car, and bags of rotting garbage sit right under one sign.

"They need to clean it up, because that brings the rodents, rats and everything," one resident said.

Yonkers now has a new law designed to crack down on those who trash the city, whether it's the illegal dumping of an old mattress and other debris in the woods or everyday litter on the sidewalks.

"We said, 'enough is enough.' We're going to have a zero tolerance policy," Yonkers City Council President Liam McLaughlin said.

He says anyone with a cellphone camera can help them find and charge those responsible.

"If they catch video, submit it to us, we will be happy to prosecute," he said. "But additionally, the city is looking into a whole program of cameras around the city to catch people."

Under the new law, if you catch someone in the act and get a photo of video on your phone as proof, you could receive up to a $1,000 reward.

"I think that's wonderful," resident Doris Davis said.

She and her kids walk the Aqueduct nearly every day and she said she has seen way too much trash.

"It gets terrible," she said. "Broken bottles, garbage bags over here, TVs – they'll be all kinds of stuff --  mattresses over there."

While some might have privacy concerns about taking photos of their neighbors and turning them in, Davis said the cash reward far outweighs that.

"Anybody can use $1,000 of course, why not? I mean, it's a good way to keep our 'our home' area clean, why not?" she said.

Those who still refuse to use a trash can could be hit with a $5,000 fine.

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