At least 20 illegal dumps in Vicksburg is shameful

Published 11:00 pm Tuesday, September 12, 2017

For all its history and beauty with its historic homes, museums and the statues and monuments at the Vicksburg National Military Park, Vicksburg is in some places a very trashy city.

Drive around town, and it’s not hard to spot trash piles of yard debris like limbs and branches, old furniture and mattresses lying by the curb. Look even harder, and you’ll find large illegal dumps; places where people decide to take their trash and dump it on someone else’s property rather than do the right thing and take the refuse to a landfill or a proper disposal facility.

Those illegal dumps are all over the city. North Ward Alderman Michael Mayfield, who has been waging a war on the dumps for the past nine years, said there is no way of knowing exactly how many illegal dumps there are in the city, but added he knows of at least 20.

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And it’s not like the city is ignoring them.

“We have some places where illegal dumping has been going on for 20 years,” Mayfield said. “We clean them up and the people come right back and dump again.

“It makes no sense,” he said. “People know they’re not supposed to be dumping. We clean them up and people come right back to the same spot and do it again; you’d think they’d get the message. There are no more grants to clean these, so the money to clean them comes out of the city coffers. We’re probably about $600,000 in the hole cleaning them up.”

And the irony of the issue is that most of the items they’re tossing out on somebody’s property are things that they are already paying Waste Management to pick up in front of their home once a week, Mayfield said. All they have to do most of the time is put it out in front of their home.

We also need people to be on the lookout for illegal dumpers and trash sites. If they see one they need to call it in to the city’s Action Line at 601-636-3411, or they can call Mayfield at 601-631-3770 or his cell at 601-831-0959.

We have a beautiful city, despite the efforts of some to ruin it. Illegal dumping and littering has to stop. And we all have a part to play.