KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Inspectors are looking into a case that may have brought illegal trash dumping in Kansas City to a new level.
Railroad police contacted Kansas City’s illegal dumping investigators last week about a burned out mobile home. Someone left it under a bridge near 23rd Street and Manchester Trafficway.
Alan Ashurst investigates illegal dumping sites for the city.
He said he determined the mobile home had been abandoned about a month ago. Since then someone set it on fire.
“It is weird that this has been here that long,” Ashurst said.
He said this is the largest thing he’s ever seen abandoned in Kansas City. Ashurst also said he has a possible lead on the person responsible for abandoning the mobile home.
“Speculation is all pointing towards the trailer park over here that’s being moved out for the Jackson Co. prison,” Ashurst said. “There is actually some evidence in here leading to that.”
Jackson County has spent thousands of dollars over the past year to relocate everyone living in Heart Mobile Village, the future site of the county’s jail. Last month there was still one person living at the park.
While the investigation may eventually determine the trailer came from the mobile home park, Kansas City said it’s too early to make that assumption.
The first step is to find out where the trailer came from and how it got under the overpass.
“We as a city want to be very sensitive to any situation that may arise out of this. We want to make sure that if this is a clear cut illegal dumping situation that it is prosecuted. That it is a crime to dump illegally. But we also understand that there are certain situations out there that could have a more complicated process, or a more complicated reasoning as to why,” Sherae Honeycutt, Kansas City spokesperson, said.
According to Ashurst, if the owner simply left the trailer under the bridge, he could face a large fine for illegal dumping. If the owner moved the trailer under the bridge to live there until finding someplace else, Ashurst said that’s a different situation.
“My best case scenario is we find a way to get this cleaned up as soon as possible. We find out who it is. Depending on his attitude and cooperation, he’ll probably end up with a misdemeanor fine, if he can help us get it cleaned up, which would get him a $1,000 fine,” Ashurst said.
Either way, it will take days for the city to clean up the mess. Crews will likely need heavier equipment than they normally have to hook up the trailer and move it away.
Ashurst encourages anyone to report illegal dump sites as soon as they see them. It’s as easy as calling the city’s hotline at 816-513-DUMP (3867). He said that way the trash gets cleaned up as soon as possible.
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