PINE BLUFF, Ark. — A rise in illegal dumping along a Pine Bluff street is leading the city to shut down the road while they find a solution.
Mattresses, toilets, tires, and scrap wood are just some of the debris piled up along a wooded stretch of East 24th Ave.
“No respect at all,” said Jimmy Brown, who lives next to the woods. “I’ve tried to catch them numerous times.”
Ever since Brown moved into his home five years ago, he’s watched the trash piles keep growing.
“I’m embarrassed when people come in from out of town coming down that road to my house,” he added. “I’ve been calling the city for five years about this. It’s ridiculous.”
City council members Lloyd Holcomb Jr. and Joni Alexander, can’t pinpoint why the area has a reputation for dumping. Both represent the First Ward, and backed a newly passed ordinance to shut down the road for 90 days effective July 1.
“We can clean up one day and it’s there the next day,” Alexander said. “It’s really unnecessary that people continue to disrespect these already lower income communities and neighborhoods and just dump their trash that they don’t want in somebody else’s backyard.”
The closure will turn each side of 24th Ave into a dead end, still allowing neighbors to get to their homes as well as providing access to the two churches on the street.
During the shutdown, Holcomb Jr. says the city will clean the trash and also try to find a permanent solution.
“We’re also trying to catch those who are dumping,” Holcomb Jr. said. “We cannot solve this problem right away, but this will be part of a bigger solution.”
Neighbors like Brown welcome the closure, with his patience already running thin for anyone junking up the neighborhood.
“Stop it. Take it to the dump,” he added.