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Illegal dumping in Swope Park concerns visitors

Posted at 7:31 PM, Jul 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-08 21:09:58-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — The piles of trash left along some roads leading into Swope Park in Kansas City, Missouri, are beginning to concern some visitors.

It's a growing problem, which becomes more visible as the park sees more visitors during the more temperate months of the year.

For visitors like Pat Wosje, the last thing he wants to see is garbage lining the road.

"We notice it when we come out here every once in a while, and it's unfortunate," Wosje said. "It's a beautiful park and it's a beautiful area, and you never want to see any trash kind of floating around the area."

KSHB 41 Action News noticed piles of trash along Blue River Road and at the overpass near Oldham Road and Interstate 435.

"It's just laziness," KCMO Neighborhoods and Housing Services Public Information Officer John Baccala said. "They don't want to do the right thing, and it's really too bad."

Swope Park, which is KCMO's largest at 1,805 acres, includes several secluded areas, which Baccala said makes it perfect for people wanting to illegally dump trash.

"You don't want a pair of eyeballs on you when you're discarding something," he said.

According to Baccala, the city has 22 cameras in 17 locations throughout the city to catch illegal dumpers and handed out more than $50,000 in fines last year.

Of course, the city also spent more than $2 million to clean up the messes left behind.

It's a preventable problem and expense, but residents need to be responsible and quit dumping trash where it doesn't belong.

"(It's) just a crime of people not wanting to do the right thing and honestly not thinking about the other Kansas Citians, because we have to clean far too many of these up," Baccala said.

Know about illegal dumping, call the city's anonymous dumping hotline at 816-513-DUMP (3867).