Dumpsters set up in parts of Hillsborough County to combat illegal dumping

Illegal dumping is becoming a big problem for some parts of Hillsborough County, so code enforcement is hosting a 'fight the blight' event to help.

County workers set up dumpsters for residents in the Palm River and Clair-Mel neighborhood to toss their junk legally and for free.

“It's a serious problem, not only in terms of the general aesthetics of things. There's a lot of manpower. There's a lot of investigative time. There's a lot of equipment operators,” said Jon-Paul Lavandeira, executive manager for Hillsborough County Code Enforcement.

Lavandeira said taxpayers end up footing the bill for illegal dumping.

Beginning Friday until May 3, the county is set up a disposal site at Tidewater Trail and Windsor Way for neighbors to toss their unwanted furniture, wood, tires and more.

“People see a rundown house, a rundown piece of land. It invites more nefarious problems,” said Lavandeira.

Those are the kinds of problems that neighbors in that area already deal with on a regular basis.

“People actually come from other neighborhoods to dump illegally,” said neighbor Herley Robinson. “It's a little bit irritating to live in an area where everybody else thinks ‘It's okay. They won't mind if we come over here and dump stuff.’”

Neighbors said they do mind, and they said they are thankful for opportunities like this one.

“This is a very needed thing that the county is offering, and I very much appreciate it,” said Robinson.

For now, the free dumping opportunity is just for people who live in the Palm River and Clair Mel area who live within the following boundaries: North of Tampa Bypass Canal, east of Selmon/86th Street, south of Causeway Boulevard, and west of the CSX railroad tracks.

The items can be brought to the disposal site from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. through May 3.

Workers will not accept hazardous materials like paint and chemicals, commercial waste, and yard or household waste. They will accept furniture, wood, concrete, up to 5 tires with or without the rim and more.

The county plans to host this event in other neighborhoods this summer.