MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Two men were caught on camera dumping trash across the street from businesses on Cherry Street Drive. If caught, they could face felony charges.
Parents of children in a dance studio were right across the street when they saw a pair of men drive up in a U-Haul truck and dump trash along the curb. Amber Jones took out her phone and began filming.
“When they opened the back of the truck, they just start throwing trash out," Jones said.
The garbage included household waste - including a diaper, bags of leaves, even a door and a couch. When confronted by parents and a business owner, the men didn’t seem to care.
"Are they doing what I think they’re doing? They're throwing trash out here. They hear us, you see what I’m saying and it was a U-Haul full of trash," Jones said.
Illegal dumping isn’t new, but this instance was caught on camera. Robert Knecht, director of public works for the city of Memphis, said those involved could face felony charges.
"We would work with the police to basically arrest those individuals. Environmental enforcement would do that under public works, and then we would prosecute them working with the district attorney’s office," Knecht said.
The city sent someone to document the trash and potentially identify suspects. Jones said the pair appeared to be a junk removal business, and that left a bad taste in her mouth.
“It brings about the fact that maybe they're careless. Do they steal? It brings a lot of questions of the character of the people that did this,” Jones said.
ABC24 called the number of the business witnesses believed to be involved, but no answered. Facebook pages and the company website also appeared to be taken down.
Knecht said the city will help identify whose trash it is, but the cleanup still falls on the businesses or landowners.
“What would we do is tell them to capture the cost of it and keep that cost, so if and when we identify the individuals, they could then seek restitution,” Knecht said.
Jones and other parents of the dance studio said they're often fundraising and the cost potentially falling to them isn't right.
“Now if it does fall on us, there we go again - have to ante up to have somebody come and clean up what somebody messed up, and that’s not fair,” Jones said.
Memphis’ public works department said if you observe dumping or see a spot that needs to be cleaned up, document it and call 311 to have the city investigate.