KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- It's pure disrespect.
That's what one angry neighbor, a tenant living near 26th St. and Euclid Ave., describes a huge pile of garbage that formed on the sidewalk near her home. The giant rubbish pile was over six-feet high, and required city workers to clean it up on Thursday afternoon.
That neighborhood's sidewalk was unsanitary and revolting. Residents tell FOX 4 News they take pride in their street, preferring to keep things clean. Before that KCMO bulk waste pickup crew removed the waste, the walkway was impassible and unsafe.
"It's so big, you can't even see the sidewalk on the other side," Gloria Wiley, a local resident, told FOX 4 News. "I don't like my street looking like this."
Wiley, who is disabled, recalls three months ago, seeing a crew rehabbing the house at 2605 Euclid Ave., a house that's boarded-up and marked as 'dangerous.' Wiley says she saw a member of that crew put a stack of bricks on the sidewalk, intending for city sanitation workers to pick them up.
"He said, 'The city can come pick these up'. I said, 'Hmmm, I didn't know the city picked up bricks. He said, they're gonna pick these bricks up,'" Wiley said.
Wiley says that's when neighbors began adding their own trash to the tall heap, building a nasty pile of trash that was over six feet high. The big trash stack included discarded furniture, sacks of kitchen waste, and items that had been discarded from a construction project, including rocks, boards and a old door. The vile pile had attracted swarms of flies and several parliaments of maggots. All of it blocked the sidewalk outside 2605 Euclid and the vacant lot at 2603 Euclid.
"I feel a whole lot disrespected," Wiley fumed. "You can't come down the sidewalk. There's some people here in wheelchairs. They've got to get out in the street to go up the street. If you parked over here, people can't get down the street because of the trash."
Kansas City ordinance requires property owners to make an appointment for bulk trask pickup. Those appointments can be made by contacting the city's 311 Action Center. A spokesperson for the city's solid waste department says the crew who started the original pile of bricks didn't have an appointment. Neither did the residents who added their own sacks of trash to the swollen hill.
"This is a pretty bad dump," Alan Ashurst, Kansas City's Illegal Dumping Inspector said on Thursday. "You've got maggots on one side. You've got baby diapers on the other. A lot of household garbage."
Ashurst's role is to seek out illegal dumpsites and to cite people guilty of littering. He discovers clues in every illegal pile, including the one at 26th and Euclid, such as the Walgreens' prescription information he uncovered, which included a name and address. Ashurst can trace that type of contact information back to the original owner.
Ashurst, who has worked in this role for over four years, says the city allows property owners to set out large items for disposal the afternoon before their appointments. He says doing so beforehand has proven to lead to abuse.
"If you put it out here, in a week's time, it's going to double. Let it sit out here two weeks, and it's going to triple. Next thing you know, you've got this kind of mess," Ashurst said.
KCMO bulk trash pickup crews were at that site sometime during Thursday's mid-afternoon to clean up most of the mess. Ashurst says they'll come back for the remainder of it on Friday.
Local property tax records show that house is owned by After God's Heart Ministries, a church based in Decatur, Georgia. FOX 4 News reached out to church leaders by phone and e-mail, but our calls were not returned.