South City residents demand for stop to illegal dumping

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SOUTH ST. LOUIS - A south St. Louis City neighborhood says that it is sick and tired of people dumping their trash illegally.

"It gets really frustrating when people just automatically assume that this is the place where they can dump their trash," said Lana Camp-Jessop.

Jessop runs an Airbnb at one of her properties on Utah Street in Benton Park West.

Jessop said that on Monday, cameras mounted outside of the home captured someone driving a trailer full of drywall and wood and dumping all of it on a grassy area in an alley behind the property.

Jessop said that she turned the video in to police for review.

Kevin Davis who lives directly across said that he had just cleaned up another mess from the same spot over the weekend.

"I cut the grass from California (Avenue) all the way down the block and I blow this entire alley out," Davis explained. "I try to keep things around here clean and it's upsetting."

It's a problem that Alderman Dan Guenther of Ward 09 believes is being created by people who either don't live in the area or don't want to make a trip to the Gasconade Transfer Station.

"It costs the city, it costs our residents," said Guenther, "property values of the homes around here go down and its public safety for the kids playing out here."

A few blocks away is Linda Hennigh's home.

She rents out property in the area as well but it's lined with all kinds of waste.

"I don't wanna have to clean the alley every day," Hennigh said, "it just takes these bad guys to make the neighborhood look like nobody cares."

Guenther said that even though there is a fine associated with illegal dumping in the city, he's looking at possibly introducing legislation that would increase the fine and give a harsher punishment.

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