New proposed measure aims to curb Kansas City’s illegal dumping dilemma

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A new proposal is taking aim at Kansas City's illegal dumping problem.

The city has said cleaning up the mess easily costs $2 million a year.

Abandoned lots are often littered with trash in the Historic Northeast. Neighbors say once one pile of trash shows up, people just add to it.

"It's everything you could imagine. Big things, little things, wrappers, tools, a lot of some construction waste like boards and concrete," said John Bordeau, who lives in the northeast area.

During  recent neighborhood clean-ups along Cliff Drive, volunteers shared how incredibly difficult it is to stay ahead of the problem.

"We'll clean it up or it'll get cleaned up, and then a week later, there's more. It's very frustrating," Bordeau said.

This week, Bordeau met with newly elected Kansas City Councilman Brandon Ellington. He's now sponsoring an ordinance, aimed at cracking down on the dumping dilemma.

He's proposing the city increase bulky item and lawn waste pick-ups and install more trash cans around the community, so waste doesn't end up where it shouldn't be.

"Any time you can provide more collection services for items, the better it is for the resident or the consumer. But it always comes at a cost," said Michael Shaw, Kansas City's solid waste manager.

Shaw said putting up more trash bins could probably be done easily, and he's hopeful when the city takes over trash collection from contractors in May 2020, bulky items could be picked up more often and on the same schedule with trash.

But the council has a lot of decisions ahead on what it wants the city's trash service to look like and how much residents will pay for it.

"We look forward to providing the level of services the citizens should receive with which their tax dollars should pay for," Shaw said.

Neighbors who deal with dumping hope the proposed ordinance moves forward -- and soon.

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