(WSVN) - Imagine looking out your window to a pile of trash that gets bigger day after day and nothing has been done about it for a year. What can be done? It’s tonight’s Help Me Howard with Patrick Fraser.
When the Potters walk out their front door, it’s into a nice neighborhood.
Jill Potter: “I think our complex, they seem to be taking care of it.”
Now look out Jill’s back window.
Jill Potter: “Trash. Lots of trash.”
The trash is on the swale behind their Pompano Beach condo. You name it, it’s here.
Jill Potter: “There’s flooring. There’s kitchen cabinets. There’s furniture, mattresses, couches, bathtubs and toilets.”
It’s been going on for a while. This is Google Maps from 2022 with the trash prominently in the picture.
Jill Potter: “I don’t even have words for it. It’s just terrible that people think they can just drive up and dump trash anywhere.”
Over the past year plus, Jill has snapped pictures of everything from tires to tubs.
Jill Potter: “We’ve seen them pull up in pickup trucks and vans and they just dump everything out there to stand there and pull it out. Piling on, pile it on.”
As you can see it’s no secret who is doing it. Jill and her husband have documented it again and again with the dumpers staring straight at them.
Jill Potter: “There was a guy this morning. He was in a pickup truck. He was taking out flooring, like wood planks. We drove by. I took a picture. He looked right at me, didn’t stop, just kept on dumping.”
Jill has also sent pictures of the trash and the tossers to the association and the city.
Jill Potter: “When the city came out one time when we had an issue, they said they’re not responsible for cleaning it up. So I contacted the association, our property manager, and they said they’re fighting with the city.”
Jill assumes it’s a crime. The sign above the mess says it is.
Jill Potter: “I want to go out there and say something to them. But, you know, I’m not going to confront someone. They don’t … I don’t know their stability or anything.”
Jill has lived here for 28 years but not lived like this.
Jill Potter: “I get angry when I see people dumping because I know they shouldn’t be doing it. I get frustrated because no one’s helping out. No one’s cleaning it up. No one’s taking responsibility. They don’t care.”
Well Howard, legally who is responsible for cleaning this up and stopping it?
Howard Finkelstein, 7News legal expert: “Dumping garbage on private property is a crime. It’s up to the police to stop it but in reality, garbage is not a high-priority matter. In this case, taking the pictures helps law enforcement. As for cleaning it up, the property owner, the condo association, has to remove the trash even though they are the victims of the dumping. It’s not fair but it’s the law.”
We contacted the City of Pompano Beach and they were impressive. The city removed the trash even though they could have forced the association to do it. The city representative, Sandra King, told us the pictures helped them identify one of the dumpers, a worker for a nearby association. The Broward Sheriff’s Office had a little chat with him and the dumping stopped.
Jill Potter: “So it’s been nice to be able to look out my window and not see a pile of garbage.”
The garbage is gone and hopefully, the dumpers will stay away as well.
Jill Potter: “I am happy. I was at my wit’s end. I didn’t know what to do. So I said, ‘I’m going to try calling. Help me, Howard.'”
Patrick Fraser: “We are here to help and apparently the maintenance worker who was dumping trash was telling his contractor buddies they could dump there as well. If you have a similar problem, take pictures like Jill did. Set up a surveillance camera to make the job for police easier.
Got a problem you think is garbage? Ready to trash it? Dump it in our laps. See if we can pick up a solution for you.
With this Help Me Howard, I’m Patrick Fraser, 7News
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