SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) - Throwing away your trash on someone else's property. The 22News I-Team found out dumping is a problem in Springfield.
22News I-Team wanted to find out who is responsible for cleaning it up, why in some cases it takes so long, and after our investigation, would the city take action.
The 22News I-Team went to three locations in Springfield where we received reports of illegal dumping; an old towing yard on Bay Street, conservation land on Methuen Street and and old factory plot on Pinevale Street in Indian Orchard.
"I see couches, TV's, junk that people throw off, I guess they're moving for what not, and they're just trying to dump it," says a neighbor near Pinevale Street.
( Where do you think they are from, the neighborhood or all over the city?)
"I don't know. We've seen people haul couches on their backs walking down the street and dumping them over here", says another neighbor near Pinevale Street.
Dave Cotter is in Springfield's Code Enforcement Division . He deals with illegal dumping on private property.
"The police can't be out here 24 hours a day. We kind of depend on the general public to be able to make a phone call, take down a plate number, make sure that it's anonymous," says Cotter.
( Are these people just trying to avoid the trash fee?)
"Basically on any vacant lot that they can get away with it now, they won't go for the $8 or $10 fee, whatever it is," says Cotter.
On Bay Street, the city seized the land because the property owner didn't pay taxes.
Tina Quagliato is in the City's Housing Department . She's partially responsible for cleaning the mess on city owned properties.
"There is still a large environmental cleanup that will need to happen," says Quagliato.
( So city workers can't perform those tasks?)
"It's not something that we have the capacity to do in-house," says Quagliato.
( It's not just an eyesore, because it's not secure, kids can get in here.)
"We've done lots of securing on the back ends, because people are consistently breaking into the site. We did previously have a fence here. It has been stolen and we are in the process of replacing the fence," says Quagliato.
On Methuen Street, off of Grayson, neighbors told the 22News I-Team illegal dumping is a constant problem.
"We have an in-house Parks Department crew that takes care of that," says Quagliato.
( What's an appropriate time-frame if someone sees a mess down there that they should expect to get it cleaned up?)
"Usually that site, and relatively easy clean-ups like that, they happen quickly so within a week," says Quagliato.
After talking to the city, we decided to come back to the spot on Methuen Street where there were no dumping signs in this conservation area. Just about a week later, it's pretty much cleaned up, the mattresses that were down here are now gone. The yard waste that was over there has been picked up and cleaned up. We'll keep an eye on this place.