Crews clean up illegal dumping site on Linda Vista and Camino de Oeste, officials say it’s a growing problem

Illegal dumping in the desert
Illegal dumping in the desert
Published: Oct. 20, 2021 at 1:25 AM EDT
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - Pima County is facing a growing garbage problem.

Tuesday afternoon, trash pickup and recycling crews cleaned up a large illegal dumping site at the corner of Linda Vista Boulevard and Camino de Oeste.

Everything from couches to mattresses to yard clippings were piled up on the southeast side of the intersection.

A couple weeks ago, C&S Sweeping Services Inc, which does road cleaning for Pima County, put out garbage bins so crews could unload debris, improving efficiency.

“And the dumpsters filled up right away and people kept throwing trash outside of the dumpsters,” said Julie. “The whole corner looks like a landfill.”

Julie lives nearby and drives that stretch of Linda Vista often.

“It’s kind of an eyesore,” she said.

Crews worked fast and had the garbage removed within a few hours. However, some wonder how long it will stay that way. Another resident told KOLD News 13 this is not the first time trash has been dumped on the lot. The viewer said it’s a safety hazard, saying she’s seen children walking on mounds of garbage on their way home from school.

C&S Sweeping covered the cost of the garbage removal, according to a county employee on scene.

“When people illegally dump, someone has got to clean it up,” said Cristina Polsgrove, the public information officer for Tucson Environmental Services.

Polsgrove says brush and bulk crews are busy responding to calls.

“We are seeing about twice the amount of tonnages than we have in the past,” Polsgrove said.

That does not include what the Tucson Department of Transportation (TDOT) is dealing with. Over the past 12 months, TDOT has spent $96,452 removing more than 880 tons of debris from illegal dumping sites.

Mike Graham, a spokesperson for TDOT, released the following statement:

“The Tucson Department of Transportation and Mobility asks that City residents take advance of the Environmental and General Services Department’s Brush and Bulky Program to dispose of unwanted debris and household items, or use the City’s landfill. The amount of dollars and time spent to have Streets Maintenance crews clearing illegal dump sites takes away funding and time for crews to maintain City roadways. To report any infrastructure deficiencies, please call 520-791-4371 or email tdotconcerns@tucsonaz.gov.”

If you hire someone to haul your garbage away, Polsgrove suggests paying half upfront and half after you receive a receipt from the landfill.

“If people can get it in their car to bring it here to dump, they can get it in their car to take it to the proper place to dump,” Julie said.

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