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Stay-at-home order causes rise in illegal dumping

Trash on  37th and Oakley
Posted at 4:27 PM, Apr 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-01 19:41:57-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The stay-at-home order is meant to stop the spread of coronavirus in the Kansas City metro area, but it's having some unintended consequences as illegal dumping piles up.

Alan Ashurst, illegal dumping investigator, told 41 Action News it could be because more people are stuck in their homes and have free time to clean or work on their houses.

"Probably things that people have looked at for 10 years, got tired of it, finally went and threw it out because they got nothing else to be doing," said Ashurst.

Near 37th and Oakley, the street is lined with trash. The people who live in the area are frustrated with the mess.

"We have a lot of community pride and it’s really like a family and so when people come and dump in our yard, we take it personal," said Kathryn Persley, president of Heart of the City Neighborhood Association.

The illegal dumping is not the image Persley wants for her beloved neighborhood.

"I really want to tell people if it’s OK to dump trash, go dump it in front of your mother’s house," added Persley.

"You wouldn’t do this in your neighborhood, you know. Don’t come up and actually drive up on our property near our house and start unloading bags of trash," said Maize Middaugh who lives in the area of 37th and Oakley.

There is a silver lining to the stay-at-home order, as Ashurst explained, he's catching the people dumping the trash.

"Go knock on doors, talk to them like I used to, but I’m finding them at home, which is a dream," said Ashurst.

Instead of closing cases in days, he's now doing it in hours.

"I catch them, I go write a ticket, I catch them I go write a ticket. It’s happened every day this week," added Ashurst.

Kansas City is offering up to 12 trash bags free on the week of April 13-17 to help residents dispose of trash. The city also encourages recycling if possible.

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