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Audit shows 24-day response time for illegal dumping in Kansas City, Missouri

illegal dumping
Posted at 5:05 PM, Apr 28, 2022

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — An audit shows flaws in Kansas City, Missouri's illegal dumping system.

After conducting an audit of the Public Works Department, which handles illegal dumping requests for service, the city found it takes an average of 24 days for the department to respond to and resolve a requests made through 311.

The audit said because of data issues, auditors could not calculate response times for complaints and service requests from other sources, and receiving requests from multiple sources resulted in incomplete data and could result in missed requests, duplicates or inequities.

The audit found Public Works did not analyze response times to resolve requests and also has not established response time goals for resolving requests.

City Auditor Douglas Jones presented the audit's findings to the KCMO City Council Wednesday.

Michael Shaw, Public Works director, spoke about the findings and said the goal should be two to three days.

"I think if anything, the audit did show that there is a disconnect between the investigations and the collections and we definitely have to bridge that gap in a more efficient and effective manner," Shaw said.

The audit recommends consolidating illegal dumping service request intake and data, analyzing response times, establishing response time goals and developing an anti-illegal dumping campaign using a community engagement framework.

For Kansas City, Missouri, resident David Clay, illegal dumping has been an issue for him and his family for more than a year.

Clay said the private property right next to his house is frequently the site of illegal dumping as well as a camp for people experiencing homelessness. Just Wednesday night, he said he was woken up by the sound of a truck dumping more trash there.

"No one would want to live around here just from looking at this," Clay said.

Clay said he was shocked to hear about the audit's findings about the 24-day average response time.

"That's horrible, that shouldn't take long because people like us, we have to deal with that for that whole 24-day basis," Clay said.

An illegal dumping investigator for the city said the city is planning to work with the property owner to remove the mess sometime next week, and it will be up to the property owner to monitor the property in the future.