Crews clean up Flint neighborhood plagued by illegal dumping
FLINT (WJRT) -
(05/07/14) - After being an eyesore for several years, some help is on the way for a stretch of Harriet Street on Flint's north side.
Other parts of the city are also getting much-needed attention this month.
Harriet Street, just north of downtown, isn't the city's only trouble spot. So, during Love Your City Month, a lot of Flint residents are taking extra steps to clean up their neighborhoods.
Neighbors say this area on Harriet Street is one of the worst dumping sites in Flint. When ABC12 reported on this story last month, there was so much litter on the ground that you could barely even walk in this area.
"Oh, it was horrible, we've called the city to cut the grass. They just constantly dump, dump, dump," said Keith Burnett, Flint resident.
Some say this spot is also a safety risk, especially for children like 11-year-old Zakeira Bates.
"I think it's disgusting because we want to go play, but we can't because it's unsafe, it's bad for us to play out here," Zakeira said.
Even bodies of dead dogs have been reported out there.
Wednesday morning, city crews and neighbors went to work on Harriet Street.
"Right now I'm just getting all of the debris and all of the miscellaneous items that's sitting around, beautifying the area and then when the sun comes out and the ground gets dry, I'm going to cut all of these lots," said Wantwaz Davis, Flint City councilman.
"It's a joint effort that we need to continue doing if we're going to keep cleaning up the city because our resources with the city are very limited," said Raul Garcia, blight coordinator.
Although there's still a lot of work to be done, neighbors are thankful for the cleanup efforts made so far.
"It's a big improvement," Burnett said. "We're just glad that they're at lest taking steps to clean it up."
This is going on as part of a bigger effort to clean up the whole city. During the month of May, residents are asked to join in on an effort to beautify the city. They'll be picking up debris and placing them in garbage bags.
Neighborhood and church groups, as well as other organizations, are encouraged to participate all during the month and help clean up their city.
Those groups can get together and clean up a specific area. They're also signing up for activities such as Graffiti Free Day.
Flint is partnering with Republic Services, which will provide the heavy lifting for curbside pick-ups. They'll take unlimited large items, bagged trash, lawn debris and much more.
"We think it's important because a clean city is a city that is respected and it shows people around that the area is loved and taken care of and that's a big deterrent to crime. When you have an area that looks bad, that is obviously overgrown and not cared for, that's a sign that nobody is watching that area. With Love your City, we want everybody to clean up their area to make it look presentable," said Jason Lorenz, PIO, City of Flint.
Love Your City pick-up schedule for May 2014:
Items Must Be Placed Curbside by 7 a.m., Monday
Unlimited Large Items: May 5-9
No refrigerators, air conditioners, dehumidifiers, or cast iron tubs
Unlimited Bagged Trash: May 12-16
All bags must be placed curbside All bags must weigh under 50 lbs. No hazardous materials or chemicals Will not affect regular garbage day pickup
Unlimited Bundled Brush/Lawn Debris: May 19-23
All bundles must be no longer than 4 feet long and branches must be less than 4 inches thick No trees, trunks, stumps or logs Will not affect regular garbage day yard waste pickup
Graffiti Free Day: Saturday, May 10, 9 a.m.-2 p.m.
Salem Housing, 3216 Martin Luther King Ave. Volunteers should bring cotton gloves and wear old clothing To register or to report graffiti, contact Melanie Poisson by 2 p.m. Monday, May 5