City dumping takes new twist

Published 11:46 am Thursday, April 26, 2012

Illegal dumpers have a new strategy by disposing of debris on legal rubbish piles in front of homes, the Board of Mayor and Aldermen was told Wednesday.

City buildings and inspections director Victor Gray-Lewis and North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield said the current rash of illegal dumping is creating serious problems for homeowners, because Waste Management, which has the city’s solid waste contract, will not pick up the debris, forcing the property owners to dispose of it.

Waste Management’s contract, Gray-Lewis said, does not include collecting building materials and construction debris.

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“We’re getting calls from people complaining that Waste Management trucks are passing their piles by,” he said. “The sad part about it is, the property owner is responsible for disposing of it, even though the debris is not his.”

He said one of the hardest-hit areas is Kings, adding he’s had calls from homeowners on Hutson and Curry streets.

“People put out their rubbish properly, and then the next morning or the next day, the pile’s grown,” Mayfield said.

Mayfield said most of the problems stem from small contractors who illegally dump to avoid disposal costs.

“The prime areas are (U.S.) Highway 61, Kings and Farmer Street,” he said.

Huey Younger is one of the dumping victims. He said he had trees cut and trimmed from his home at 312 Hutson St. The night before Waste Management was to collect the trash, he said, “Someone went and dumped their trash on top of my pile.

“I had a long pile of limbs across from my house,” he said, adding that Waste Management picked up everything but the pile with the building materials.

“I wish I knew who dumped this,” he said. “And I wish the city would come get this. I didn’t do this. I pay taxes.”

“What this amounts to is stealing,” Mayor Paul Winfield said, “because somebody else is paying to have their debris disposed of.”