One man’s trash is another man’s problem.
Illegal dumping along the side of the road is a huge issue in North Port.
In one day, the city cleaned up 20 tons of trash.
There’s still more cleanup left to do.
As you take a drive down some of North Port’s sparsely populated areas, you quickly find out this place is a dump.
Literally, a dump.
People are using it to throw away just about everything.
All over the place there are toys, furniture, boxes and building materials. It’s becoming a huge issue.
“The city will come out, they’ll clean it up. And within a week or two, its back,” said resident Jackie Cordova.
You can’t blame the city for trying. Recently, crews spent a whole day cleaning garbage and they picked up 20 tons, including 70 tires.
This costs a lot of taxpayer money to clean up. Business owners and contractors are largely responsible.
“Usually there’s a fee for businesses to dump garbage, things like that. So obviously a lot of that, the dumping is going on from businesses, contractors, is to avoid those fees,” said Michael Fear, with the city of North Port.
“To use taxpayer resources for something that’s illegal and unnecessary can cause a strain, so we only want to use those resources where we need to or where we should be using them.”
Residents are frustrated and worried.
“If somebody threw a match down there or something, especially during dry season, everything would be gone,” said Cordova.
Not only is this illegal, it’s totally unnecessary. There are landfills and transfer stations not far from here, and sometimes you can have your bulk garbage removed at no extra cost.
Authorities are on the lookout. If you’re caught dumping illegally, you could face fines.
“Please take care of our communities. Don’t be a jerk and throw stuff that you can put out in the trash in my neighborhood, put it in your own,” said Cordova.