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City says homeowners are responsible for alley trash

Posted at 10:12 PM, Dec 06, 2019
and last updated 2019-12-07 00:12:48-05

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Some residents in the Jefferson Park neighborhood tell KGUN9 illegal dumping in their alleyway seems to be growing every day.

The City of Tucson says unfortunately illegal dumping is common, especially in neighborhoods around the University of Arizona.

Marina Carcamo Garcia says she sees the trash piled up in the alley behind the home she’s living in daily.

“We usually encounter rubbish in this alley,” she told KGUN9.

She says the trash in this alley, near Lester Street and Vine Avenue, is more than an ongoing eyesore.

“We are polluting more the environment and that’s a problem,” she added.

So, who is responsible for picking up this growing dump?

According to code, the trash in the alley is the homeowner’s responsibility to pick up, from the fence to halfway into the alley way.

Pat Tapia, the Deputy Director for the Environmental and General Services Department with the City of Tucson Says this is a common misconception.

“Even though it’s a city owned right of way, residents are still responsible for any kind of debris that builds up in the alleyway, as well as any trees or overage, or vegetation in the alleys,” said Tapia.

He says he understands it may be frustrating for homeowners, especially if they are not responsible for the pile up.

However, Tapia says the free ‘brush and bulky’ service can help.

“We come around twice a year and we pick up, up to 10 yards of debris at point of collection. So if your point of collection is in the alley, then we clean up the alley,” Tapia told KGUN9.

Tapia says illegal dumping is very common, especially around the university area.

His department gets at least 35 reports every day.

Fortunately there is something the community can do to help.

“They can actually request a neighborhood cleanup. We’ll drop off a roll off box on like a Friday, and we’ll leave it over the weekend. Pick it up on Monday where the resident can fill up the roll off and there’s no charge for that,” said Tapia.

Also, if the twice a year ‘brush and bulky’ service is not enough, the city has a ‘brush and bulky’ special pick up.

According to Tapia, homeowners can pay the city $55.00 and have up to 10 yards of trash picked up at any time of the year.

Tapia also said trash piling is more prominent during the end of the month when people tend to move out, and encourages people to report illegal dumping when they see it.