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City of Weslaco cracking down on illegal dumping

1 month 3 weeks 6 days ago Monday, May 02 2022 May 2, 2022 May 02, 2022 4:15 PM May 02, 2022 in News - Local

The city of Weslaco is cracking down on illegal dumping.

First, starting this week, the Weslaco Public Works Department will extend its site hours of operation for construction material, big bulk trash drop off from Wednesdays at 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. weekly.

Weslaco Mayor David Suarez says people who have big bulk household items, like mattresses and sofas, can call public works at 956-973-3146 to set up a pick-up time.

The second way is on May 14, when the city will host “Operation Clean Sweep" from 8 to 1 where residents will be able to drop off construction materials and household items.

“It behooves everybody that we minimize our illegal dumping or curtail it because what’s being thrown away and not picked up— it ends up in our bar ditches, drainage ditches, drainage canals that will affect the flow of water,” Suarez said.

Suarez says crews are also picking up illegally dumped trash regularly on the side of the roads and in drainage canals or ditches.

A local engineer explains there's an impact that building materials have on the environment when they’re illegally dumped in canals.

“Reinforcement steel corrodes over time,” said Andy Gonzalez, a construction engineer. “You have leaching of the rust. If asbestos is in there, asbestos has to be dumped at a state-certified dumpsite.”

Gonzalez encourages other builders and engineers to dispose of trash properly for the safety of others and to avoid hefty violation fines, which can lead to up to $1,000 in Weslaco.

“This is the first one this year," Suarez said. "I know last year they stopped it because of the pandemic, but it’s coming back. Hopefully twice a year and maybe quarterly, we’re going to do everything we can to help our citizens get rid of stuff the right way.”

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