KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Illegal dumpers are at it again in Kansas City. This time it’s near Linwood Boulevard and Troost Avenue in a high-traffic area.
Investigators have evidence that leads them to believe some of it is being done by the owner of a business next door. It’s one that burned earlier this month.
A business owner in the area, who wasn’t able to go on camera, told KCTV5 News that illegal dumping has been happening out back for years. He said he wishes people would take responsibility because it’s making the area look bad.
In the area of Troost and Linwood, piles of garbage sit along a treeline as more rolls across the road.
“This has been a hot dumpsite since I started six and a half years ago,” said Alan Ashurst, Kansas City’s illegal dumping investigator.
Some are even making their way to the site during the day. KCTV5’s Abigael Jaymes saw one truck pull up and, whether the person was planning to dump or not, they did turn their truck around as soon as they saw the TV cameras and a city truck.
However, the only way to charge someone with the crime is to either catch them in the act or have enough evidence to do so. According to Ashurst, that is a difficult task for many reasons.
“You can really only prosecute about 20% of them,” he said.
Despite that, Ashurst believes the recent problem falls into the hands of the business directly next door.
“I’ve always kind of suspected that it was someone right here,” he said.
Firstly, they have an eyewitness account from a person explaining in an email that demolition trash was being carried out of a building that caught on fire last week and being dumped dead in the street.
Secondly, according to Ashurst, “Starting right here at this pile of stuff is a little white trail that leads right to the back door of the property I’ve suspected for years and ends up at their back door.”
After inspecting the inside of that building, Ashurst then noticed a large portion of ceiling tiles missing.
“But when you look, they’re right there,” he said, indicating the dumpsite.
Ashurst said that although not all of the dumping that’s taken place at that spot over the years has come from that one business alone, it’s always a relief when you can catch anyone doing that crime.
It’s a crime that costs the city just about all of their $2 million illegal dumping budget to clean up.
“KCPD, the city, city hall, you name it,” said Ashurst. “We’re all tired of illegal dumping. There is no excuse for it.”
We spoke to the brother of the man who owns the business, Matt Abnos. He said they plan to get a dumpster out there to clean up the mess.
If they do that, then they’ll only be charged with a misdemeanor illegal dumping fine which is $1,000. If they don’t, they could be charged with a felony that has a fine ranging in the area of $3,000.