Launch Slideshow

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[7] Solutions

[7] Solutions

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    In 2005, the city of Cape Coral, Fla., signed a five-year construction-manager-at-risk contract with Balfour Beatty Construction to widen arterial roads from four to six lanes. Photo: Cape Coral, Fla.

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    The Web-based application enables city departments to coordinate projects internally as well as externally with private utilities. Gray = road, blue = water, green = waste-water, yellow = gas, and orange = telecom. Image: Envista Corp.

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    “Our goal is to coordinate road projects during the design phase by broadcasting schedules to all affected utilities,” says Margaret Martin, PE, of Baltimore's DOT. Photo: Envista Corp.

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    To increase your chances of qualifying as a quiet zone, propose safety measures that overcompensate for the loss of the train horn. Photo: Phil Estes

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    Concrete overlays in the United States date back to the first bonded overlay in 1913 in Toledo, Ohio. Ultra-thin whitetopping, the most modern type of overlay, has been in use since 1991 on a road near Lousville, Ky. Source: American Concrete Pavement Association

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    Illegal dumping is the legacy of residents being allowed to contract their own disposal providers. At one time, 30 to 40 haulers operated in Reading, Pa.; today, fewer than 10 do. Photo: City of Reading, Pa.

To keep defendants from claiming the city hadn't made them aware of disposal options, the city's ordinance includes a “presumption of ownership” clause: If an envelope or correspondence with address information is found in the trash, the city assumes the garbage came from that address. The ordinance also gives Denbowski the power to issue citations.

Even if a community has an ordinance against illegal dumping, Denbowski recommends notifying the state after apprehending an offender. A violator may be wanted on other charges, or perhaps sued in civil court on different charges.

Because residents are a community's best enforcement tool, Denbowski publicizes arrests and convictions by sending press releases to local media. “Residents want clean neighborhoods, so they're becoming more cooperative,” says Denbowski's boss, Public Works Director Charles Jones, PE.

In July, Denbowski's crews began collecting up to 12 tires/household for no charge; and “we've seen fewer tires in alleys,” he says. That effort, combined with a county toll-free, anonymous hotline that rewards callers up to $5,000 for information leading to an arrest, is going a long way toward removing eyesores around one of Pennsylvania's largest cities.