On Your Side Investigation: Birmingham begins cleanup of illegal - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

On Your Side Investigation

On Your Side Investigation: Birmingham begins cleanup of illegal dump in Inglenook

Bristol Street in Birmingham's Inglenook neighborhood. Source: WBRC Bristol Street in Birmingham's Inglenook neighborhood. Source: WBRC
Inglenook residents fed up with illegal dumping. Source: WBRC Inglenook residents fed up with illegal dumping. Source: WBRC
Birmingham city crews begin cleanup in Inglenook. Source:WBRC Birmingham city crews begin cleanup in Inglenook. Source:WBRC
BIRMINGHAM, AL (WBRC) -

Bristol Street in Birmingham's Inglenook neighborhood has been a hot spot for illegal dumping for years, according to residents. 

"It's awful because I pass this way daily and I've seen people come out here and dump," said Sandra Woods, who has lived in Inglenook for 35 years. 

Six residents and community activists met WBRC at the site and walked us through the debris, which included dozens of tires, bags of household trash, televisions, a toilet and mountains of stray litter. They participated in a neighborhood cleanup last weekend, but said this dumping site needs professional attention. 

David VanWilliams is an officer with the Inglenook neighborhood association and said they suspect residents from nearby areas who don't want to pay trash or dump fees are driving to this street to ditch their trash. 

"The problem with this area is it's more hazardous and we're concerned about biowaste possibly being here," said VanWilliams. 

"Our children have to walk through the litter," he added. "If it rains on a school day, the children have to walk through areas that are flooded because the streets are flooded and the sidewalks, because of the litter and the debris that are in the storm drains," said VanWilliams.  

Residents say they've reported the dumping to the city of Birmingham for years, but as soon as crews come to clean it up, the dumpers return. 

Joe Fenison has lived in Inglenook for 40 years and said he's been reporting the dump site regularly since 2007. He's concerned about the health effects like mosquitoes or worse. 

"You have rats and possums and snakes and all kind of vermin in this area trying to find food from where they're dumping their house hold goods, and something needs to be done," said Fenison.

WBRC contacted the city of Birmingham's 311 and asked if a crew could come clean it up. Around 2:00 p.m. Friday, crews arrived and began cleaning up the debris. 

A representative with Mayor William Bell's office said the best way for residents to report illegal dumping is by calling 311, especially if the site has been cleaned up before but dumpers strike again. 

The Inglenook residents are hoping for more consistency in keeping their neighborhood clean and have asked city officials for stricter enforcement of litter laws and more signs in their neighborhood. 

Cory Pettway has only lived in Inglenook for a year, but was among the people who participated in a weekend neighborhood cleanup. He's formed a group called The Willing Family, aimed at revitalizing urban neighborhoods in Birmingham. He's hoping more young people like him get involved. 

"One of the things that we have to push to everyone is taking pride in not only where you stay, but the whole world," said Pettway. "Throwing trash down, whether it's in your neighborhood or another neighborhood is just not a good thing for humanity." 

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