MEMPHIS, Tenn. — After the Memphis City Council approved its second major illegal dumping initiative in recent weeks, some neighborhood advocates don't think it goes far enough in being effective.
For months, ABC24 brought your solutions and results after highlighting concerns of trash tossed and piled up in different communities.
It's a far cry from recent history, when Keep America Beautiful gave Memphis eight national awards between 1980 and 2002.
"I live in Whitehaven but I advocate all over Memphis, it's a mess out here," Dr. Yvonne D. Nelson said.
That's why spotting and cleaning up illegal dumping is such a passion for Dr. Nelson, who helps lead the beautification non-profit My Zip.
"Don't ask what the community can do for you, do for your community, don't be silent," Dr. Nelson added.
Still, she's skeptical about the impact of a newly formed blight and illegal dumping task force, approved Tuesday by the Memphis City Council.
"You cannot be behind a desk and not come out and be active in what's going on; it's not going to be effective," Dr. Nelson said.
Supporters of the task force said it will create new collaboration and resolve among different city agencies to clean up more illegal dumping sites quicker.
"My desire is that the task force will inform everything that's done, bring everyone together, you know, look at the trends, the data, analyze what we need to do, best practices," Memphis City Council member Rhonda Logan said.
The task force's input will also complement another newly formed 17-member team, along with new equipment focused exclusively on illegal dumping response and cleanup.
"We want something substantial, we really want to move the needle on this situation because, if not, it's gotten out of hand," Logan added.
Dr. Nelson hopes task force members go out on illegal dumping cleanups to see the challenges firsthand.
She also concedes it will take a different mindset among Memphians to take more pride of their blocks and the Bluff City.
"If you teach the little ones 'don't throw the paper down', they are going to tell their parents 'you shouldn't throw that out the window'," Dr. Nelson said.
Once its members are assigned, the illegal dumping task force will provide monthly updates.
City crews also set up 100 covert cameras to catch illegal dumpers in the act - and that ID can be used to file criminal charges.
If you see illegal dumping in Memphis, you are asked to call 311.