MIDDLE SMITHFIELD TOWNSHIP -- Illegal dumping is a big problem in the Poconos and community leaders are cracking down on people who trash public property.
There are signs warning people that dumping trash is illegal at the Middle Smithfield Township recycling center near Marshalls Creek, but that doesn't stop people from unloading trash.
Surveillance video captured a man sneaking wood pallets between recycling bins Thursday night, then returning the next night to dump a mattress and other trash.
"They're on camera, so we can see them. We can see their license plate so we know who does it," said township supervisor Mike Dwyer.
Just last weekend, someone dumped a Christmas tree, which supervisors say is especially strange because there's a legal Christmas tree dumping area just a mile down the road.
"It's a shame because they have township clean-up days which is where you're supposed to throw out the bulk garbage," said Maureen Annese.
Dwyer said the township takes illegal dumping seriously.
"When we catch people, we vigorously go after them for the fines," Dwyer said.
Anton Toryak is a Monroe County Waste Authority police officer. He says there's no reason to illegally dump trash, especially because the county has a recycling center in Blakeslee where residents can get rid of many things, including TVs, for free.
"Other electronics such as printers and things like that, scanners, fax machines can be dropped off also," Toryak said, adding that violators can get up to a $1,000 fine and 10 days in jail.
Toryak says making a little effort can go a long way towards keeping the Poconos pretty.