North Port cracking down on illegal dumping

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A lounge chair set up in Florida seems normal enough. But when it's just dumped in an empty lot in North Port, it's considered trash. 

The city is dealing with illegal dumping. 

"It doesn't do much for our property value," said Jackie Cordova. 

Cordova lives in the southernmost part of North Port. She's fed up with illegal dumpers. 

"Trash is free in Florida and you get two big pickups a year. You can put anything out there. Anything. But yet they bring it over here and dump it in our neighborhood," she said. 

Just minutes off I-75 and near the Sarasota County-Charlotte County line a wooded area seems well known to some. 

"The sad part is if anyone threw down a match or anything, especially during the dry season. Everything would be gone," said Cordova. 

The city of North Port decided it was time to clean up the undeveloped area. Within a couple of hours, they picked up 70 tires and 20 tons of bulk garbage. 

"To use taxpayer resources for something that’s illegal and unnecessary can cause a strain," said Public Works Community Outreach Coordinator Michael Fear. 

Fear said, even after a good clean up, more trash piles up. 

"We've got yard waste right here. Some materials that looked like remodeling material," he said. 

Fear believes construction and lawn workers don't want to pay a dumping fee so they come here. 

"This is areas where it’s not developed where there’s not a lot of people out here. Because of that, it’s kind of a target for illegal dumping," he said. 

The city of North Port and its police department is keeping an extra eye on the area. If you're caught dumping you'll pay a much bigger fine. Neighbors like Jackie ask people to keep that in mind. 

"Please take care of our communities and don’t be a jerk. And throw stuff that you could put out for the trash in my neighborhood, put it in your own," she said.