East-side residents ask Cleveland for help with illegal dumping

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CLEVELAND-- An impromptu dump is forcing residents of a Cleveland neighborhood to live in squalor.  They’ve accused city hall of ignoring their plight, despite months of complaints.

“It’s a disgrace,” said Joyce Hood, president of the Elizabeth Prince Street Coalition.

Hood takes pride in her east-side neighborhood, located at East 93rd Street and Prince Avenue. So do her neighbors, who voiced their concerns to FOX 8’s Lorrie Taylor.

They said they have no idea who arrives under the cloak of darkness to unload garbage, junk and construction debris.

“It’s awful. Residents deserve better than this,” said Roshawn Sample, Acting Director of the Union Miles Development Corporation.

She told Taylor city hall had ignored complaints dating back to April.

“We have made over 100 calls,” she said.

“This is a classic example of uptown versus downtown,” said Zack Reed, Ward 2 Councilman.

Reed blamed the administration for turning a blind eye to problems in the neighborhoods.

“For months there, we just let certain parts of the city just go to hell simply because we had the RNC. So now the RNC’s over let’s come clean this up,” Reed said.

Residents aren’t asking someone else to do all the work. They said they’re willing to pitch in.  They’re asking Cleveland City Hall to deliver Dumpsters and take care of disposal while they do the heavy lifting.

“First of all, we do care,” said Michael Cox, director of public works.

Cox told Taylor the city is currently dealing with 350 illegal dumpsites like the one near East 93rd Street.

“It is on our systematic list to be cleaned up, Miss Taylor. We have a loader initiative,” Cox said.

The problem, said the director, was crews involved in the loader initiative were currently cleaning up vacant lots and wouldn’t be available to clean dumpsites until August.

“We need help apprehending some of these people that are illegally dumping in our city,” he said.

The director said preventing illegal dumps is easier than cleaning them.  He encouraged residents to call 911 if they saw illegal dumping in progress or to contact the city at 664-DUMP.

“Come on you got to help us, you got to meet us half way,” Hood said. She and her neighbors are hopeful there’s a Dumpster in their future.

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