North Miami-Dade residents protest debris dumping near housing development

NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - Residents gathered in North Miami-Dade, Friday, to protest the decision to dump debris left over from Hurricane Irma near a housing development.

Clean up began after the storm swept through South Florida, but all of the mess had to go somewhere.

Truckloads of the debris and trash were dumped into Poinciana Industrial Park on Northwest 75th Street and 25th Avenue, close to the Northpark at Scott Carver housing development.

“The Northpark residents have been organizing meetings, talking amongst themselves about what is going on, how this is impacting their community, and what they want to see done about it,” said Esi Fynn-Obeng of Miami’s Workers Center.

In addition to what has been called a growing eyesore, residents said they are also dealing with a full-blown infestation.

“The bugs, the rats — you can see them running across the road,” said Northpark resident Kimberly Smith. “They are bold. They come up to the doors, come to the trash, and when you tell them to get, they stare at you like — it’s terrible.”

The park is just one of several designated staging sites for tons of post-Hurricane Irma debris. Many of the sites are close to low-income neighborhoods.

People living nearby said the site also poses a serious health hazard.

“You have folks that have medical conditions, breathing problems. There’s a clinic that’s nearby. There’s a food processing center that’s nearby that’s also attracting vermin,” said Fynn-Obeng.

“I also have a son, he has asthma, he’s autism, and has difficulty breathing,” said resident Kimberly Smith.

Many had hoped the area would attract jobs and prosperity, but they are instead finding rodents, a mountain of trash and worsening issues.

“Please, I would like to see that removed and put a store back here, a supermarket, something that the residents can benefit.” said Smith.

County officials said the staging site at the Poinciana Industrial Park will no longer accept new deliveries, and workers have been preparing the debris for shipment to a final disposal site.

The process is expected to continue through January.

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