KANSAS CITY, Mo, — Neighbors in the city’s east side have a mess on their hands.
A wooded area off Blue Parkway is overrun with tons of junk left behind by illegal dumpers, and state officers report they’re being brought in to address the trouble.
Signs marking private property are everywhere, but illegal dumpers are still leaving their mark on a parcel of land behind a convenience store at Dr. Martin Luther King Blvd. and Hardesty Ave.
The gas station manager gave FOX4 permission to shoot images there. The littered area includes tons of illegally dumped materials, including old tires, yard waste and piles of discarded construction materials. There’s a stack of old paint cans. Discarded trash bags are common. Several tents are pitched in the near distance.
Kirk Mitchell, an environmental specialist with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, said determining who’s to blame for those dumpsites isn’t always easy.
Mitchell said property owners aren’t always aware, and the site at MLK and Hardesty might have been there for a long time.
“We don’t know who the dumper is. We end up with a lot of situations like this where the property owners are innocently dumped on. It’s hard to find a responsible person to compel to correct the problem,” Mitchell said.
Other employees with the Missouri DNR told FOX4 city leaders in Kansas City, Missouri have reached out to the state for help in mitigating illegal dumping.
Missouri Conservation officials also said they’re aware of an uptick in illegal dumping in Kansas City during the past year.
“I think everybody should take responsibility and come out and clean it up. It’s not just the land owners. It’s not just the city,” a neighbor named Robert said.
Nick Plummer, who works with EZ Dump, used to own a business located near the convenience store. Plummer said he sold his property and relocated four months ago because city inspectors weren’t doing enough to help with dumping issues.
FOX4 emailed and called city communications officials concerning this five times on Monday, but nobody called us back.