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Taking trash bags to city recycling drop-offs will soon be punishable by a fine of $500.

At their meeting Monday night, the Rapid City Council updated an ordinance on illegal dumping and increasing the fine for those who violate it. The new policy, which was approved by a unanimous vote, will take effect in under a month.

Members of council have said that the city's three recycling and yard-waste disposal sites are increasingly being abused by residents seeking to rid themselves of household garbage and larger items such as furniture. The amendment explicitly forbids residents from discarding anything other than accepted materials at the sites, something on which the current code lacks language.

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Additional signage is planned for the sites. Councilwoman Darla Drew has previously said that the addition of security cameras is not out of the question.

Drew has suggested allowing residents to take their own trash to the city landfill to further curtail dumping. Property-owning residents can already do so with a copy of their city utility bill, while renters are currently charged $20 per visit.

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