160 tons of trash cleaned up by city crews in battle against illegal dumping

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Thirty-three tons.

That’s how much trash city crews collected from the Martindale-Brightwood neighborhood on Thursday.

It would’ve been the second-largest haul for one neighborhood, behind the 34 tons collected in Riverside in May, if city workers hadn’t already done an early sweep in July in preparation.

Both trash sweeps together totaled almost 60 tons of furniture, tree limbs and heavy trash just from Martindale-Brightwood.

The city has removed more than 160 tons—about the same weight as 70 to 80 compact cars—since they started monthly sweeps in March.

“Every time you turn around, somebody decides that, ‘Hey, this seems like a good spot for me to dump my trash and keep moving,’” said Amy Harwell, One Voice Martindale-Brightwood’s president.

Harwell has harsh words for the people who illegally dump trash in her neighborhood. She says it’s primarily landlords and property managers who use her community and others as a junkyard.

“Why are you trying to make our community look like the trash dump, while yours is pretty?” asks Harwell.

Harwell says she doesn’t think the illegal trash dumping will stop until neighbors and the city catch the worst offenders.

“When you get one of them and slap it on, I think they will learn the lesson and spread the word out for the others,” said Harwell. “Don’t take no chances with that community because they’re out for you.”

The city does fine violators that they’re able to catch. Depending on the amount of trash and disposal costs, that fine can range between $75 and $2,500.

City records show they’ve collected more than $260,000 from the violators caught for dumping in 2016.

More fines may soon be on the way.

The Mayor’s Action Center received almost 900 calls for illegal dumping through the first 29 days of August.

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