Memphis residents working to combat trash, illegal dumping

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Residents in a Memphis community are working to combat trash and illegal dumping in the area.

FOX13′s Amy Speropolous saw old mattresses, tires, chairs, and even an old toilet lining Levi Road in Whitehaven Thursday morning.

Residents told FOX13 they are fed up with the garbage.

Dozens reached out to us about the problem.

“The city comes with their big trucks and their cranes and they pick things up. People just come right back and drop more, so you’re going to have to go a step further because the people who are cleaning it up are often not the people who are messing it up. They are going to have to increase the fines and prosecute the violators,” said Dr. Yvonne Nelson.

Nelson runs a nonprofit, My ZIP, designed to combat trash issues and illegal dumping and works to get the areas cleaned up.

My ZIP began in 2019 to focus on community issues and concerns.

“I’ve seen this ongoing issue for years. I’ve reached out to everyone I know to get the junk cleaned up. We don’t want it here. It’s just terrible, then it gets cleaned up for a little while, and then it gets bad again,” said Nelson.

Thanks to a grant, Nelson had cameras installed along a section of Levi Road. Monitoring was scheduled to begin Thursday afternoon.

Residents can call 311 to report trash and illegal dumping in their area.

City officials released the following statement:

The City of Memphis Environmental Code Enforcement team is investigating this location and the surrounding area. City ordinance requires private property owners to secure their property in efforts to prevent acts of illegal dumping and aggressive littering.

The city encourages residents to contact 311 to report illegal dumping. Illegal dumping violators face possible arrest and fines, in addition to paying restitution. Also, the State has been successful in issuing indictments for charges including Theft of Services, Aggravated Criminal Littering, and Vandalism over $1,000.