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Illegal dumping in Buffalo neighborhood leading to action

Bryan Bollman and & Michael Schwartz
Posted at 7:50 AM, Apr 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-19 07:57:23-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — For years Consandra Hector says the city owned lot next to her home on Kerns Avenue has been a space for people to come and leave their trash.

"I've seen furniture, TV's, dead dogs, paraphernalia, tires," explained Hector.

The strip of grass also leads to Haven Street, so Hector said people use it as a shortcut by foot, and some by vehicle.

"I had a motorcycle go into my fence," said Hector.

Hector emailed 7 Problem Solvers shortly after she saw junk from "an entire home" in the lot.

"It's not only random residents dumping, but it appears to be contractors," explained Lovejoy Common Council Member, Bryan Bollman. He has been there before, and said the city has cleaned it up in the past. Unfortunately the problems continue.

7 Problem Solver Michael Schwartz walked with Bollman through the grass lot next to Hector's home, and the gravel lot behind her home and her neighbor's home. Both are sites of illegal dumping.

When walking through, Bollman and Schwartz found bags of garbage, broken concrete blocks, a tied garbage bag of what appeared to be insulation, and strips of siding from a home.

Bollman said people caught throwing their garbage on city owned lots could face up to a $1,500 fine. It's an expensive price for tampering with the quality of life for people like Hector, who have maintained their homes for decades.

"We live in these houses, and some of us treat these houses, even if you rent them, like their own," emphasized Hector. "The city should respect us too."

Bollman said since our interview, he has developed a plan of action with city officials to clean up the spaces.

Right now, ideas on the table include:

  • Making both lots community spaces
  • Turning the gravel lot behind Hector's home into an area for plows to turn around in
  • Putting gates on both sides of the grass lot next to Hector's home. Only city employees would be allowed access. This idea is favored by Hector and her neighbor Annette Higgs. The grass lot runs in between both of their homes.

"I really want to see this be a success story," said Bollman.

The councilman also said he hopes a community service day to clean up the property can be scheduled soon. That would be after the city removes heavy pieces of trash.

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