Illegal dumping in south McAllen affect residents and businesses

(Source: KGBT Photo)

People in south McAllen find illegal dumping a recurring issue.

Toys, clothes and bedding are just some of the things dumped on 24th St. in McAllen and it's a sight that resident Mario De Leon has taken to social media.

"There's too much illegal dumping happening,” said De Leon.

However, the trash bins aren't for public use. They are purchased and assigned by commercial businesses.

Local businesses owners, like Maria Gonzalez who runs a paint shop, have come across items that she doesn't recall disposing of.

"We've found a headstone there. We found dead animals, clothes from other businesses,” said Gonzalez.

Although there are people dumping their trash into the bins that belong to local businesses, there are also concerns of people rummaging through them for goods.

"They actually pick these trash bins quite a bit and unfortunately they dump things out from the trash bins to get what they need,” said De Leon.

Therefore residents, like Abel Casas, believe trash ends up on his property as he lives right across the street from the bins.

"Now that there's wind if the ladies come and take out the trash, it blows over to the house,” said Casas.

To avoid these issues, Steven Kotsatos, Director of McAllen’s Dept. of Health and Code Enforcement, advises businesses to use locks.

"It's $37. It's a one-time fee and that way they can keep it locked and they can unlock it when their trash pick-up is due,” said Kotsatos.

However, Gonzalez said it's not enough because it means they have to keep it unlocked overnight which is when others usually come to get rid of their trash.

So, the city believes the only way this will stop, is if someone is caught.

"We've had cameras there before and we're going to be putting a camera there this week as well,” said Kotsatos.

If someone is caught dumping on commercial property, they could be fined up to $500.

To report illegal dumping, call (956) 681-1900.

If residents have more trash than their regular trash bin allows, McAllen residents can take their trash, along with a current utility bill and ID, and dump their trash at McAllen Public Works during regular business hours. If the neighborhood has more trash, they can request a roll-off bin for the weekend, for free, from Keep McAllen Beautiful. Call Public Works at (956) 681-4000 and Keep McAllen Beautiful at (956) 681-4562 for more information or call (956) 681-3111.

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