MEMPHIS, TN. — Drivers passing through the intersection of Prescott Street and Sharpe Avenue in Cherokee can now get a clear view of one corner house that once had its curb and sidewalks overtaken by a massive pile of debris.
Four feet of trimmed tree limbs, old mattresses, and other trash lined the corner for weeks.
Neighbors and the homeowner reached out to FOX13 last week for help after seeing the pile grow for more than a month. They say their calls to 311 went unanswered.
The property owner, Guadalupe Sanchez, told FOX13 last Tuesday that she was going to clean up the mess herself, and neighbors confirm she did over the weekend. Sanchez got it done after a Memphis worker placed a yellow warning on the debris, giving her five days to clear the pile or face penalties.
Memphis city leaders told FOX13 that the owner of the property - not the city - was responsible for cleaning the trash because the home did not have utility services turned on, including trash pick-up.
Sanchez said she was unaware that was an issue because she owns several homes, and this was the first time she heard of that policy. She also shared concern that it took the city weeks to let her know they would not pick up the debris because she says she would have cleaned it up sooner.
Neighbors told FOX13 Tuesday that while they’re happy to see the mess has been removed, they think trash piles are still a problem.
“I’m glad that it’s gone because most piles cause rats and stuff,” said neighbor Phillip Sides. “I called them a few times because there’s trash all up and down my street, and it sat out there for months. I think the city needs to get more people they need to get more people driving around the city and seeing what needs to be done. I think it eventually will, I don’t know. That’s all we can do is hope.”
Delays in trash pick-up have been an ongoing concern for the union representing Memphis’s sanitation workers, AFSCME, and the city council. Bulk waste pick-up was once again discussed at the city council meeting Tuesday.
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