City of Independence looks to address illegal dumping - KCTV5 News

City of Independence looks to address illegal dumping

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Illegal dumping in Independence has been a problem for years and now the city is stepping up to clean it up.

The efforts to get one site cleaned up will cost the city thousands.

Several dumpsters have been filled up with mattresses, couches, and trash from construction.

Mike Jackson, Community Development Assistant Director, says this area has probably been used for years as an illegal dump site.

"Typically, we will clean up smaller pieces of private property averaging around $200 or so for the quick little clean up. One of this size and scope is pretty abnormal,” he noted while looking at the piles.

The biggest drag could be all the tires, and for more than one reason. Aside from the cost of disposal, which has to be done individually, there’s also the health risk.

“In those tires, water will collect and mosquitoes will breed,” said Jackson. “So these are one of the main things we want to get out of here. As you know, mosquitoes can carry diseases and also can be a huge nuisance.”

He says the way it has been found shows that the site has probably been used for some time.

“As we're cleaning it up, they're uncovering what seems to more and more what seems to be tires that have been hidden here for a long time which is why I believe this has been an illegal dumpsite, probably for many years now,” said Jackson. “It's just things have grown over the trash and grown over the tires so we're estimating that it's going to be a little bit higher in the cost.”

The case opened in June after neighbors brought it to the attention of the city.

“We really depend on citizens to help us keep our city the way we want it to be,” said Independence public information officer, Meg Lewis. “By getting reports of locations like this in our parks, our other community areas, we are able to take steps to clean those locations up."

Those reports led to the city reaching out to the two owners of the impacted properties, but after receiving no response, they got to work.

While the property owner isn’t necessarily the one doing the dumping, they’ll be the ones footing the bill: either paying for it or getting a lien on the property.

"No, it's not the property owner's fault,” said Jackson, “however the property owner is responsible for whatever happens on his or her property.”

Owners of an adjacent property have told the city they will get new blockades up and they hope to install cameras on their building, that way they’ll be able to see whoever may be dumping illegally.

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