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Houston targets illegal dumping of massive trash

HOUSTON (AP) - Houston wants its residents to stop treating the entire city like a dump.

Officials and police have spent years fighting back against people who leave mattresses, furniture and massive amounts of debris on streets or in empty lots, rather than disposing of them properly.

Those piles drive away investors and draw in insects. Schoolchildren sometimes have to walk by mounds of garbage and old tires in a city that has global aspirations.

The multimillion-dollar effort to stop illegal dumping includes cameras at prime sites and officers digging through trash for receipts to track offending residents.

The city's solid waste department also offers free stations for people who don't want to wait for a monthly heavy trash pickup day.

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