Think about it. Aren’t we all guilty on some level of the illegal dumping that has become a problem in Camden?

The problem with illegal dumping has gotten so bad in Camden that the city is now installing 100 security cameras just to try to catch people, or maybe more accurately discourage people from doing it to begin with.

“These cameras will give our police department another tool in the fight against illegal dumping, hopefully leading to more apprehension and punishment of these violators,” said Jon Young, Camden County Commissioner.

For a city that spends $4.7 million a year trying to stop this blight the $500,000 in federal funds to buy the cameras can go to really good use at a fraction of the cost. Camden Mayor Vic Carstarphen points out that illegal dumping isn’t just unsightly. It’s creating environmental hazards and problems with public safety.

Don’t you have to wonder how much of this comes from people who don’t even live in the city? I bet it’s plenty of outsiders who treat the already troubled city like a worthless trash yard.

Now I’m not condoning this whatsoever. But it got me thinking, in some ways aren’t we all guilty of this at times? Just to a much lesser degree?

It’s more obvious when you take an old refrigerator or paint cans and just toss them in a big empty field in Camden. But what about when you missed bulk pick-up day in your town and you’ve got that beat-up old chair nobody wants and you don’t want to pay to bring it to the dump? Ever just throw that in a businesses dumpster late at night? You might not think of it but that business pays for their trash pickup. So that’s a form of illegal dumping as well.

And if you want to get really particular about it, it doesn’t even have to be a large item. Technically you’re breaking the law to just throw your McDonald’s bag into a dumpster that isn’t owned by McDonald’s.

What about when someone in the neighborhood is having renovations done to their home and their driveway is taken up by one of those long roll-off dumpsters? Ever toss your kid’s old broken tricycle in there thinking it’s big enough and it will never be noticed? Yep, that’s illegal dumping.

There was a hysterical scene on a “Curb Your Enthusiasm” episode where Larry David is walking with a friend and Larry puts his empty water bottle into somebody’s trashcan that was at the street. The homeowner confronts him and they have it out about how he pays for that trash to be picked up and that it’s not Larry’s.

Again, not at all condoning what goes on in Camden. Just saying there are times all of us have probably been guilty of this, it’s just a matter of gradation. Or are you without sin? Take our poll below.

Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.

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