City Cleans Up After People Are "Trashing East Texas" - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

2/3/05-Longview

City Cleans Up After People Are "Trashing East Texas"

A washer. A stove top. You name it and you'd probably find it alongside Leland Street at Zeola, until today.

All the illegal dumping and littering had nearby resident James Leath and his family fed up, so his wife contacted KLTV. We called the city's Environmental Health Department and showed you the conditions we found in James' neighborhood. And today, the city sent a crew to start cleaning up the dumping ground.

"Everyone wants a nice, clean neighborhood," James said.

He says he likes to take his son for walks through the nature trail. But before, the liquor bottles and fast food containers made the area look more like a party scene.

"This isn't a party area," James said. "It's our neighborhood. It's where we live. They can take their party to places that are more appropriate than someone's backyard."

As for the trash further into the woods, the city has mailed a letter to the property owner. The owner must respond and clean up within four weeks, or face a possible citation. The city will also ask the landowner to consider placing a barrier between the street and the dirt path. They say that would make it more difficult for trucks and 4-wheelers to haul their big items through there.

Getting rid of the small pieces of trash, the city says, just takes a little responsibility.

"Every piece of trash you see was in somebody's hand at one time," Kevin Cummings, the city's Environmental Health Manager, said. "And it's just so much easier for that person who has that piece of trash to do ahead and place it into a receptacle."

"And maybe the money that the city uses to clean up this area, they could use on something more beneficial to the community," James said.

And he hopes the trash will be gone for good.

If you have a problem with illegal dumping in your area, let us know. Click on the "Local News" link. There, under the title "Illegal Dumping," you can tell us where else someone is "Trashing East Texas."

Julie Tam, reporting.

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