Trash-filled street near elementary school angers residents

Frayser neighborhood fed up with illegal dumping near elementary school

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - City leaders say illegal dumping is a problem in this city.

That’s especially evident in the Frayser community where angry neighbors contacted the WMC Action News 5 newsroom about a street littered with trash.

West Side Drive in Frayser is filled with old mattresses, discarded couches and trash just feet away from Westside Elementary and Middle Schools.

“I’m thinking if I had to pass this every day as a little child, it feels like I was just thrown away,” said a woman who didn’t want to be identified, but said her grandson attends Westside Middle School.

She said when she was picking him up from school one day she noticed the trash.

She said, “The city needs to get to work, first of all clean this up, the weeds, manicure this. It’s like this part of Frayser is forgotten about.”

Even though this trash was reported to the city 10 days ago, it was never cleaned up, but the city marked the complaint on 311 as closed on Tuesday, April 27.

However, when WMC went to Westside Drive Friday, April 30, the street was still littered with trash.

WMC sent video and pictures of the street to City of Memphis officials three days with the same trash that was shown in the picture of the original 311 complaints.

By Monday afternoon, street maintenance crews cleaned up the mess, revealing a spotless street.

Any remaining debris was determined to be on private property and the owner is responsible for the cleanup.

We pressed city leaders as to why they closed the complaint without actually doing the work.

We were told they are researching the background of the service complaint to see what might have happened.

City leaders and neighbors say Westside drive is an ongoing dumping problem.

We’re told the city has come out to clean up this street before , but almost as quickly as they get it cleaned up someone comes and dumps trash again.

It’s not just here on Westside Drive, WMC checked city records and found in the past 30 days there have been at least a dozen garbage related requests within a quarter-mile of this school.

Even the students at Westside Middle did a community clean-up on MLK day.

This grandmother wants the city to install cameras to catch the violators in the act.

In a statement, to WMC, a city spokesperson said “Reporting illegal dumping allows the city to re-evaluate future deployment of surveillance cameras and prioritize the efficient use of its resources.”

The city also wants to remind citizens illegal dumping violators face possible arrest and fines, in addition to paying restitution.

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