Saturday, July 27, 2013
A Wichita Man is worried a city policy may lead to more people dumping trash illegally.
"I can't take care of the whole town."
But that's what Henry Hughes feels like he's being asked to do. After someone dumped trash in the alley behind his house on South Millwood, he received a notice from the city, telling him it has to be gone by August 16 or he will be fined.
"I'm not going to pick this trash up. I've already done it three times this year. I'm not hauling off more trash."
City officials say it may be a raw deal, but that's just how the city ordinance is written: If trash is dumped on private property, it's up to that property's owner to dispose of it. But Hughes says this trash was dumped in the alley and pushed onto his property onto his property.
"Somebody had pushed it over into my grass to where I had to move it back into the middle of the alley so I could mow my grass, so I don't get fined for that."
Neighbor Cody Downs says illegal dumping has been a problem here before, and it's frustrating for those trying to keep their homes and yards looking nice.
"It brings down our value of our homes. You know, we try our best to keep it up as best as we can and then some idiot decides to come along, just throw their trash and then bring down our value."
Hughes worries the city's policy of requiring property owners to dispose of trash, even if it's dumped there by somebody else, will encourage more illegal dumping across the city.
"Basically, gives you a free for all. Any trash you want to get get rid of, get rid of anywhere in the city and if you're not caught, whoever it's closest to, they have to clean it up."
The city says if a code inspector can find out who the trash came from, or if there were witnesses to the dumping, that person could face a fine.