CHICAGO (CBS) — The thaw isn’t the only thing giving signs of spring. It’s also putting piles of trash on display. Residents said it’s especially repugnant near one South Side movie theater.
“Personally it makes me feel yucky,” said South Side resident Shaquille Golden. “It’s like a dump.”
But it’s not a garbage dump. It’s private property in Chicago’s Chatham neighborhood lined with piles and piles of trash stretching for a city block.
Shoppers in nearby stores can’t help but notice.
“It looks ridiculous,” Golden said. “It needs to be cleaned up. I won’t living in this. It’s like you don’t care.”
The debris field stretches just south of 85th Street, skirting the edge of Studio Movie Grill’s parking lot.
“It’s been here for years off and on now,” said South Side resident Delores Bryant. “They’ve cleaned it up four times, but people really dump a lot over here.”
“It seems like it’s just more and more each time I come,” said Devin Shegog, a Fenger High School senior. “And it’s getting out of hand.”
Studio Movie Grill owns the land.
“So whoever the property owner is, they should be responsible for keeping this area clean,” said Englewood resident Monique Washington. “If we can come over here and spend our money, you can come over here and keep it clean.”
The area director for the Dallas-based company said that’s what they’re trying to do. He said once most of the snow melted, they began cleaning the area up, even putting out bags in hopes they’ll be used as refuse receptacles instead of the ground.
Some sympathize with the theater.
“The property owner’s not the one out here throwing trash on the ground,” said Englewood resident Maurice Evans. “He can’t control what goes on just outside this perimeter.”
But the city thinks otherwise and put Studio Movie Grill on notice last week to clean up or face a fine.
“It bothers me because it says a lot about the South Side,” Shegog said.
The theater’s area director said 10 employees will get out there Wednesday to finish the cleanup along with four day laborers they plan to hire. After that he said they’ll assign two employees a week to keep the area clean.
A Streets and Sanitation spokesperson said crews will go inspect a private site if a complaint is called in.