CHICAGO (CBS) — From piles of trash to an abandoned car and construction debris, neighbors near 115th Street and Wentworth Avenue say they are sick of junk being dumped in their alley – and they blame the city for not doing enough to fix it.
CBS 2’s Tim McNicholas has been pressing for answers about the problem.READ MORE: COVID-19 In Illinois: Statewide Coronavirus Cases Drop For Second Consecutive Week
As Derrick White examined the different deposits of trash and debris in the alley, he compared them ruefully to prizes that might be displayed for contestants on a game show like “Let’s Make a Deal” or “The Price Is Right.” And indeed there would be plenty of prizes in that alley, but none that Drew Carey would be proud to announce or that White or anyone else would want.
“That’s been here at least a month, month and a half,” pointing at one pile of debris. “I wake up every morning to something new. We have rodent problems over here.”
The price is wrong – not just for White, but for his daughter and neighbors.
“It brings mice and cockroaches; and the mice are the absolute worst,” said his daughter, Charity Parker.
“It’s very disturbing just to walk past and see a lot of garbage down there,” said neighbor Andre Edwards.
The neighbors called us up on garbage day to show us how the Department of Streets and Sanitation empties the trash bins, but moves right by the big pile of junk. They did take two old doors that were lying in the alley, but left one behind.
“We called 311. We called the alderman’s office. There’s nothing happening here,” White said. “This is why we’re talking to you. We need help here.”
We called Ald. Carrie Austin (34th), in whose ward the trash heap is located. Austin said dumping is a problem throughout the ward, and whenever someone calls their office about it, they relay the complaint to Streets and Sanitation for a cleanup.
That process is separate from regular trash pickup.
“You only called because the people was complaining,” Austin said.READ MORE: Judge Rules Prosecutors Can't Show Kyle Rittenhouse Link To Proud Boys At Trial In Kenosha Shootings
Austin could not explain why the trash had not been cleaned up already, but she did have some advice for the story.
Austin “But you want to make an issue out of this because the people called you.”
McNicholas: “That’s right. The people called us with a complaint, and we follow up on it.”
Austin: “I think that our residents deserve service – of course I do. But for you to make a big issue out of this one, make a big issue of fly dumping over the whole ward – not just one area.”
Ald. Austin said she will coordinate with Street and Sanitation for a solution.
If you ask White, that solution can’t come soon enough.
“We’ve got cats bigger than Pomeranians. It’s ridiculous,” he said. “The cats are eating so good, they don’t even chase squirrels.”
The residents said they had trouble getting to 311, and the Department of Streets and Sanitation said it has no record of a cleanup request.
After CBS 2 started asking questions, the city came out and cleaned up. The big pile of junk was gone Wednesday afternoon.
Streets and San is also investigating why its employees did not clean up the mess earlier.MORE NEWS: Hundreds Of Cars Roll Through Downtown For Second Night To Celebrate Mexican Independence Day
As for the alderman’s advice, CBS 2 did find similar problems in other parts of the ward. We have repeatedly found similar sites across the South and West sides