Memphis neighborhood activist says city is becoming a trash dump

Updated: Jan. 26, 2021 at 9:55 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A Memphis community activist wants to know why there is so much trash and illegal dumping around the city.

“It’s horrible. It’s blight. It needs to be gone. Do something about it,” said Georgia Harper.

Harper works at a liquor store on Jackson Avenue next to mounds of trash. Trash is spilling over making it look like a mini landfill. But it isn’t. It is somebody’s property. It is not clear who owns it. There are tires, mattresses all kinds of junk.

Harper says this has been here since she started working at the liquor store two years ago.

If you drive across the city to Winchester and Riverdale, you will find a homeless encampment at a former Super Kmart.

“My girlfriend kicked me out of the house and I had nowhere else to go,” said Bobby Hope who lives at the encampment.

Hope lives at the encampment with several other homeless men. He says he would like to work.

“I’m a 22-year electrician. I’ve got tools and everything,” he said.

Community activist Patricia Rogers says the trash and the encampment is unacceptable.

“These people are living in deplorable conditions and you know something should be better than this,” said Rogers.

The building that housed the former Super Kmart is owned by a man who lives in Texas. Rogers says the man has been a no show in environmental court on several occasions. Now things appear to be on hold at the court because of COVID-19.

We called the property owner and left a message, but have not heard back. We also contacted the City of Memphis about the blight but have not yet heard back.

If you want to report blight or illegal dumping call 311.

It is not clear how many times these spots have been reported. The bottom line: it’s not a good look for certain parts of the city.

“We’re becoming an illegal dumping site and it doesn’t make us look good,” said Rogers.

She says she is organizing a cleanup in the areas with the trash. It is going to be a very big job.

Related | The Investigators: Thousands of blighted homes impacting Memphis neighborhoods

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