Mayor Hogsett makes new effort to tackle illegal dumping

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind.-- Mayor Joe Hogsett is attempting to address years of complaints about illegal dumping with a new cleanup effort.

In the past three months, the city has received 80 calls about illegal dumping from the Grace-Tuxedo Park neighborhood alone.

“We don’t need trash in this neighborhood,” said neighbor Pat Vernon. “They can keep it in their own neighborhoods, or they can go and pay $5 and dump it in the dumpster.”

But in Grace-Tuxedo Park, they don’t, which is why the mayor chose to start the multi-agency in one of the neighborhood alleys off Gladstone Avenue.

One neighborhood at a time, several city government agencies, including the Marion County Department of Health and IMPD, will work together to tackle illegally-dumped trash and remove overgrown plants from city alleys.

For neighbors who have shouldered much of the burden themselves for years, this is welcome news.

“The people go out there and they clean it up and put it in their own dumpsters because they are tired of it,” said Vernon.

Today, in less than an hour, neighbors saw the final result for one alley. It was stripped clean, but they’ve all seen alleys cleared out before.

“On my alley, the dumping has stopped close to New York Street,” said Vernon. “Down from the middle of my alley, up to Michigan, it’s started again.”

This time though, they’re optimistic it either won’t keep happening or trash will reappear more slowly. At the press conference, the mayor promised to step up enforcement and punish the people trashing the east side.

“I really am excited about that opportunity,” said local pastor Tom Jackson. “So we’ll so how it all plays out.”

Vernon echoed that sentiment.

“We have got to get this cleaned up,” she said. “We have got to get this cleaned up.”

Not for a week or two, they hope, but for good. The fine for illegal dumping can go up to $2,500.