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Orange Mound resident working to stop growing problem of illegal dumping

“They came back or they told somebody and it turned into their own little private dump," said Dwayne Jones. "People are living in this neighborhood.”

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A growing pile of debris has been dumped in an Orange Mound community and one resident is calling on both the city and neighbors to do their part to stop it.

Tires and mattresses and trash line Douglass Avenue.

“They were too lazy just to go to the dump,” said resident Dwayne Jones. “You see insulation, you see concrete, plywood.”

Jones first noticed the illegal dumping about a week ago in front of a currently vacant home. 

“It came from multiple places, this is not just one house,” he said. “They came back or they told somebody and it turned into their own little private dump.”

Jones called 311 to report the blight and was told someone would be out to check it out. 

“I’m just trying to rebuild the neighborhood and I just wish people would be a little more vigilant,” Jones explained. “I understand there are a couple of vacant lots around here, but people live in this neighborhood.”

Jones is leading a construction team on a home down the street from the dumped garbage. 

“I came by nothing was here, came back the next day it was a little trash came back another day and the whole block was literally trashed,” said the home builder.

He said things like windows and cabinetry could have been reclaimed and repurposed for those in need. 

“My concern is, I'm really upset at the people in the community, not the city,” Jones explained. “I want the city to help clean it up. But the citizens, somebody saw these people dumping, and it just continues. This is not the only place. It’s on block, on block.”

Homeowners who need to dump debris can do so at the city’s landfill. 

“We have landfills and if you have home debris, so forth, they'll let you dispose of up to four yards per month free," Jones said.

Meanwhile, Jones is staying vigilant. 

“I just felt a responsibility to call in,” he said. “They can call me a snitch, say I’m telling or whatever I don’t care. I just want my neighborhood to look a whole lot better than it does right now.”

City leaders said people who use the landfill should bring their driver’s license and MLGW bill to verify their address as a solid waste customer. 

Code enforcement is checking on the reported illegal dumping on Douglass Avenue.   

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