Illegal dumping on South Memphis street causes health, safety hazards

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Illegal dumping off a busy South Memphis street is creating a safety and health hazard for those living in the area.

WREG’s Shay Arthur noticed the trash two days ago when driving in the area, but neighbors says this is an ongoing problem.

Piles of old household items, including chairs, suitcases, a mattress and children’s toys, sit just inches from the road. Unfortunately, it’s what Linda Potts, who lives nearby, sees as she waits at the bus stop across the street.

“I catch the bus just about every day because I go to work,” Potts said.

The dumping is in front of a boarded-up building and a vacant lot. Posted signs say the City of Memphis declared the vacant building dangerous back in February. The case is going through environmental court.

But people living around the spot say city crews have come by to clean up illegal dumping here in the past.

“As soon as they clean that up, a week later it’s like more trash,” one resident said.

Others we talked to think all the debris is coming from homes being remodeled in the area.

But besides being an eyesore, the dumping causes other issues. It blocks the sidewalk for walkers and bikers, and it’s close to spilling in the street.

The street is now busier because people are looking for alternate routes to avoid main roads like Crump near the backed up I-55 bridge. People we talked to say they expect to see more traffic because of the bridge closure.

Now, the hope is to get the trash picked up and quickly.

“It’s not a good look you know to be sitting on the porch, looking at trash,” one resident said.

The city tells WREG they are sending code enforcement out for the problem.

Read the full statement from the City of Memphis:

Code Enforcement will inspect the location and issue a notice of violation to the property owner(s). As a reminder, illegal dumping violators face possible arrest and fines, in addition to paying restitution.  Also, the State has been successful in issuing indictments for charges including Theft of Services, Aggravated Criminal Littering, and Vandalism over $1,000. We encourage residents to report illegal dumping 311, this allows the city to re-evaluate future deployment of surveillance camera and prioritize the efficient use of its resources.

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