ILLEGAL DUMPING

ILLEGAL DUMPING

By Travis McGee

Illegal dumping is a city/county problem that has plagued Black and Brown communities for decades now. We all know illegal dumping is wrong as well as it being a crime however it’s not treated as such in Black and Brown communities.  Allowing the illegal dumping to remain in our ditches, public streets, drainage, infrastructure, and etc. for months at a time is also a
crime. Th e victims of the illegal dumping are communities all across the city of Houston and Harris County, but believe it or not the community is oft en blamed for the crime vs. the person(s) actually committing the crime. Th e residents are asked to call 3-1-1 or various other numbers only to witness the dumpsites to remain and grow for months at a time.
There’s no such thing as a bad community, you simply have good and bad people coming in and out of them.

Th e good people welcome good proactive illegal dumping enforcement initiatives versus excuses and more illegal dumping, however the only people the lack of enforcement benefits are the illegal dumpers. We oft en hear the city and the county say we need to work together but in reality, they don’t work together on a more productive /proactive basis to maximize services and resources that benefits the taxpayers. For decades now illegal dumping, environmental hazards, and quality of life issues have been very well documented in Black and Brown communities across our city and county, with very little improvements or notable solutions. I doubt if someone dumped next to city hall or commissioners court they wouldn’t get caught on tape, arrested, prosecuted, and etc. in a matter of minutes. I also doubt if they would call 3-1-1 versus a department to get it removed in a matter of minutes.

We all know it wouldn’t remain there for months at a time and we also know it would be properly and thoroughly investigated. Just last year Black and Brown communities across the City of Houston fi led a complaint with the Department of Justice claiming discriminatory practices of the City of Houston regarding illegal dumping in Houston, Tx. We are told to call 3-1-1 only for the cases to be CLOSED days if not minutes aft er you call it in. 311 excuses or 3-months, 1 week, and 1 day for them to even get to the problem, either way it unacceptable. To most of us that still rely on commonsense “CLOSED” normally means the problem has been thoroughly investigated and solved (meaning cleaned up and any possible violators prosecuted versus none of the above. If the dumping is still present there’s no logical reason for the case to be closed unless it’s to manipulate the numbers, just like with the crime lab.

One Clean Houston was pretty much a reactive initiative to the complaint filed by the Black and Brown communities to the Department of Justice. Th is initiative was supposed to allo-cate approximately 18 million for cameras, investigators, rapid cleanup, better enforcement, prevention/ education, and etc.

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