Weslaco’s ‘Clean Sweep’ Event to Combat Illegal Dumping

4 years 4 months 3 weeks ago Friday, April 28 2017 Apr 28, 2017 April 28, 2017 5:45 PM April 28, 2017 in News

WESLACO – Weslaco city leaders are trying to put an end to an illegal dumping problem.

The city planning and code enforcement department officials said they used to hold clean sweeps about five or six years ago, but they stopped. They only recently brought it back to combat illegal dumping.

Homeowner Benito Gutierrez said he gets a view of garbage and other debris when he looks outside of his yard.

“It’s been for years, for years. And I’m really upset with all this illegal dumping that we have here in the alley,” he said. “Illegal dumping is always an issue that we’ve always had. It’s an ongoing issue.”

Joe Pedraza is a code enforcement officer with Weslaco. He said they’re trying to come up with a solution. That’s why they’re giving Weslaco residents an opportunity to legally throw away their garbage for free Saturday. The event will be held at the Cavazos Park from 8 to 11 a.m.

“It’s pretty much to combat that. So we can give the citizens a chance to go dispose of all their stuff that way, so hopefully prevents them from going and dumping it illegally on the side of the road or in an alley somewhere or some ditch,” he said.

Piles of trash can cause flooding in streets to fueling fires.

“Instead of just leaving it out in the alley or heaven forbid you go down to the drainage ditch in the county area and dump it out there,” Bernie Garza, with the Weslaco police, said. “That makes it more of a problem. Because the drainage ditches are there for drainage when it does rain or a hurricane. And then it’s going to be clogged up and plugged up with debris that’s there that shouldn’t be there to begin with and that’s going to be a problem for everyone.”

Saturday, volunteers will scour the streets west of Texas Boulevard to Republic Street, north from Business 83 to Los Torritos Street. The city is also placing trash collecting bins at Cavazos Park.

It’s an effort by the city but Gutierrez is still concerned.

“It’s a continued process of people doing illegal dumping and I would like very much for the city to help us out,” Gutierrez said.

He said without some sort of program to monitor common dump sites, the problem will just repeat itself.

The city said during the last clean sweep in October, they collected around 12 tons of trash and 800 tires. They want to remind people the only item that won’t be accepted on Saturday is freon, which is usually found in refrigerators.

The city has more plans for their crackdown on illegal dumping.

While they only plan to hold big clean sweeps twice a year, they said once a month they’ll place a big yellow trash can in a subdivision for a weekend.

People living there will have an opportunity to throw away their junk for free. While they won’t publicly announce the subdivisions, the people living in the selected one will received a flier to know what the weekend it will be there.

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