North Omaha residents concerned with illegal dumping

Residents are fed up with illegal dumping in North Omaha
Published: Mar. 16, 2022 at 6:05 PM CDT
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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) - Those who live and work in North Omaha are fed up. Illegal dumping is a constant problem and people want it to stop.

Larissa Jelinek is tired of seeing the revolving door of garbage outside her business near 40th and Parker.

“We don’t want to have this around our place of business,” Jelinek said. “We try and clean it up but they see we clean it up and then they just do it again a week later.”

Tom Hightower encounters the same eyesore near 34th and Evans. “They’ll unload something like this in about 20 to 30 seconds,” Hightower said.

Tires, garbage, and mattresses litter the street and community.

“They’re probably getting paid to dump it, get rid of it and they save their gas costs and their dumping fees,” Hightower said.

Hightower runs transitional housing in the area. Every year his clients help clean up the mess, just to see more in its place.

“We’ve got the support of the neighbors,” he said. “I think they need to be more involved, and they can report that just who is doing it.”

Signs warning about fines and cameras don’t appear to be working.

Todd Pfitzer with Omaha Public Works tells 6 News city crews are facing what he calls a “nightmare” of illegal dumping in North Omaha.

Pfitzer said city crews doing other duties will report or pick up garbage left on our streets if they have a truck big enough. He adds that doing so diverts manpower from other jobs and all the city’s taxpayers foot the bill.

Both Tom Hightower and Laurissa Jelinek think increased fines for illegal dumping would help.

“If we could catch a few of these guys, the word would get out that it might be a little cheaper to run to the landfill than to dump it here,” Hightower said.

“Maybe fines need to be more enforced,” Jelinek said. “Then they would learn but it’s so hard to tell who it is. We don’t know.”

Residents can help by reporting illegal dumping to Wasteline Management.

The city also sponsors neighborhood cleanups throughout the year. They begin April 23rd and run every Saturday consecutively until May 21st.

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