YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Many communities across the Valley have a problem with illegal dumping.

From household garbage to mattresses and furniture, some people use an empty field, woods or other outdoor space as their personal dumping ground.

A new initiative launched by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office is focused on helping police crack down on violators.

The “Shine the Light on Dumpers” campaign will be rolled out in phases. Phase one begins with new online resources focusing on awareness, legal guidance, training, and investigative/prosecutorial assistance from the Attorney General’s Office.

Another part of phase one will kick off in July with monthly seminars across the state for law enforcement and code enforcement officers to learn how to best investigate incidents of opening dumping and open burning of solid waste and other environmental crimes.

Phase two will focus on supplying technical equipment to law enforcement agencies that are dumping in their jurisdictions.

Local residents are encouraged to help, too, by reporting illegal dumping. You can report illegal dumping to your local police department, and you can submit an environmental complaint at

Yost has earmarked $1.1 million for the Volkswagen settlement for the “Shine a Light on Dumpers” program.