KANSAS CITY, Mo. — City workers complain that it’s a common problem.
A landowner from east Kansas City said she’s doing her best, but she can’t keep illegal dumpers off her land.
The only items on the property Danielle Long owns on Blue Parkway Drive is old truck trailer and a small wooden shack. Her father, who recently died, used both of those pieces. That’s when Long said she took over the property, with intend to convert it into a conservation area of sorts.
Try as she might, Long can’t keep illegal dumpers off the land.
The three-acre plot is overrun with rubbish — sacks of trash, discarded items from construction sites, a moldy baby carriage, and other tossed-away pieces of garbage. Photos provided by city illegal dumping investigators even show a stolen car being torched there.
Long said she’s been cited more than 20 times for the mess left on her land, even though she’s had no hand in causing the trouble.
“I’ve cleaned this up multiple times,” Long said. “I’m getting cited for trash that people are illegally dumping.”
Long complained that every time she’s cited, city ordinance demands that she get it cleaned up. It costs her as much as $600 every time since rented equipment is usually needed to perform the work.
Trees on property used to bear ‘no trespassing’ signs, but Long said they’ve been ripped down too many times. Now, purple painted stripes appear on the tree bark, designating the land as private property.
Until six months ago, Long used a series of large boulders to block the entryway to the property, but when a tree trimming crew moved them, they didn’t put them back in place.
City dumping inspector Alan Ashurst said it’s a common problem for private landowners, but exceptions to the law can’t be made.
“The city is certainly sympathetic. We understand that every bit of progress you make here can be quickly undone. On the flipside of that is — this is private property, and it is your responsibility,” Ashurst told FOX4.
“There needs to be major regulations about people who haul stuff away and make them have to show where they’re having stuff dumped,” Long added.
Kansas City dumping inspectors advise landowners who are cited for illegal dumping on their property to contact 311 immediately. Ashurst said property owners are still responsible for the cleanup, but inspectors will be more supportive when landowners prove they’re not to blame.