KCMO mayor, city manager help crews pick up trash on vacant lots

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Forget the fancy suit and the bow tie.  On Saturday, Kansas City's Mayor Sly James and City Manager Troy Schulte rolled up their sleeves to pick up garbage.

They said they're fed up with people dumping illegal trash in vacant lots across town.

It stinks.  It's an eyesore.  And for many in the metro, it's what they see every time they walk out their front door.

"It doesn't make us proud.  Tt doesn't make the people who live in this neighborhood proud.  It's unsanitary.  It's unsightly," James told FOX 4 News.

James and  Schulte joined dozens of other city crews toclean up trash in nearly 200 Kansas City neighborhoods.

"As you can see this is the remnants of a pile probably four times that size when we got started," James said

"This is a chronic problem on the east side this is a pretty good neighborhood, but it's brought down by this kind of dumping," Schulte explained.

Trash not a problem in your neighborhood? So why should you care?  Schulte said to clean up trash up costs Kansas City Missouri taxpayers thousands of dollars.

"Just this crew right here is a thousand dollars, and I've got 30 crews out there so you can do the math.  This day costs the taxpayers of Kansas City $30,000 - $50,000," he explained.

The mayor says to stop illegal dumping neighbors need to be vigilant.

"Get a license plate number.  Don't confront the individuals yourself, but if you can get a license plate number and let us know we can track them down and then we can prosecute them," James said.

In Kansas City, Mo., dialing 311 will put you in touch with the city.  Arrange a bulky item pickup and crews will come out for free.  It's one way you can help Kansas City stay classy -- not trashy.

Schulte said the city has 100 hidden cameras to try and catch dumpers in the act.  Offenders face a minimum fine of $750 and possible jail time.

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