Commercial Dumpsters Off-Limits to Public’s Waste
MCALLEN – A McAllen man claims people are abusing the commercial dumpster next door and it’s putting his neighborhood at risk.
Reynaldo Barrera said people are dumping household trash and other solid waste. City officials say the dumpsters are off-limits to the public.
“People just come over here and dump stuff in this container," Barrera said.
Barrera claims people are making a habit of dumping their trash in the commercial dumpster next door. Every business and residence in McAllen should have one.
"All businesses are required to have a solid waste container," said Mario Vela, interim deputy director of public works. "Businesses will call our MPU department, or public utilities department, and they'll request it there and we'll provide them a size that's appropriate for their needs.”
The business next door to Barrera's house confirmed people are bringing solid waste to this dumpster. They declined an interview.
Barrera worries the tires being dumped pose a health risk.
"And the tires, I don't like this! Because they got water, water," Barrera said. "That's the only thing I worry about! Mosquitoes, that's all."
McAllen Health Director Steven Kotsatos says Barrera has a point.
"The biggest concern is mosquito breeding," said Kotsatos. "So mosquitoes can proliferate in just an inch of water."
If someone is caught dumping on commercial property, tires or otherwise, they could find themselves in municipal court.
Section 90 of the city of McAllen's code of ordinances reads in part:
It shall be unlawful for any person hauling, conveying or transporting waste upon the streets, alleys or public thoroughfares of the city to unload or dump such waste at or upon any public or private property within the city other than at a citizen collection station ...
"If it's not your dumpster and you're dumping your trash into the dumpster, it would be considered dumping on private property," said Kotsatos. "And it would be considered a violation."
That violation carries a potential fine no greater than $500 at a judge's discretion.
McAllen officials monitor illegal dumping activity around the city with surveillance cameras.
The penalties for illegal dumping vary in cities across the Rio Grande Valley.
For more information specific to your city, you're encouraged to contact your local code enforcement agency.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS wanted to take a closer look at how to properly dispose of tires. If you're looking to dispose of old tires, you're encouraged to contact your local recycling center.
You can report abandoned tires by calling the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's regional office at 956-425-6010.