NORTH PORT, Fla. (WFLA) – Illegal dumping has been an issue in the City of North Port for a number of years, and officials are cracking down on the problem. The city recently funded a new position within the police department to focus on the illegal dumping and other issues in the city’s remote areas.

In a tweet Wednesday morning, the police department shared video of someone that officers “rolled up on” looking to dump in the Yorkshire area on the city’s east side. The man’s face was blurred, but this is what he had to say:

“If I were you, I would not dump in North Port, Florida. There are cops out here everywhere. They have cameras, they have dogs, they will catch you in a heartbeat,” the man said. “They will not even hesitate to arrest you with a felony for dumping one leaf of debris. Just don’t mess around out here, it is no joke. These guys are serious about their jobs and they do it well.”

Police say the man in the video was not charged.

“Thankfully we were able to stop an individual from doing it,” North Port public information officer Josh Taylor said.

Residents in the area are pleased to see increased law enforcement presence. One resident we spoke with says he’s seen a variety of trash littering the area.

“Everything from household trash, mattresses – there are mattresses just thrown everywhere – old couches, tires, things that people actually have to pay to get rid of,” Robert Ryznal said. “Rather than paying the $5 to get rid of a mattress, they just bring it out here and throw it out here. It is horrible.”

In addition to the unsightly views, illegal dumping comes at a huge cost to the city.

“We’ve got to get a big heavy vehicle out there to pick it up and they have to go to the dump, that is hundreds of dollars right there. So if we can stop people before they do it, proactively, that is the best case scenario,” said Taylor.

Since October 2020, the city has spent more than $61,000 on tipping fees at the landfill alone.

“Over a certain amount of tonnage, it is actually a felony. So certainly it’s almost ridiculous to risk becoming a felon to get rid of may be a few hundred dollars worth of materials,” said Taylor. “We have some dedicated resources out there. Just don’t do it.”

Since the beginning of 2021, North Port police have investigated 35 illegal dumping cases with 11 arrests so far.