HOUSTON - KHOU 11 stands for Houston and after Mayor Sylvester Turner’s vow to improve the city’s 311 illegal dumping response on Wednesday, viewers continued to send complaints to our newsroom.
A concerned viewer around Market Street Drive and Dorsett Street in East Houston sent an email to us on Thursday about a 15-year illegal dumping saga.
Surrounded by industrial buildings and chain link fence, Roy Sanchez tends to his neatly manicured lawn.
“I’m the only house on the street,” said Sanchez.
The retired law enforcement officer didn’t send the complaint to KHOU 11; in fact, he gave up on calling 311 about a year ago.
“There’s no hope. There ain’t no hope,” said Sanchez. “They just don’t care. Nobody cares.”
Sanchez says he tried 311 and the Mayor’s hotline. Through the years, the city would occasionally pick up couches, garbage bags and assorted filth, but the trips were few and far between.
“I feel like I’m not worth a darn,” said Sanchez.
On Wednesday, Mayor Turner responded to KHOU’s first illegal dumping story that highlighted 311’s sluggish response.
“I do appreciate that the station alerted again,” said Turner on Wednesday. "[They] brought it to our attention that we did not respond when we got that call. That was good. But quite frankly, it shouldn’t have to be a television station making the call.”
About eight miles from Sanchez’s home, another viewer emailed KHOU 11 about their illegal dumping problem that tells the other side of Houston’s trash dumping problem.
“The city cleans it up,” said Marcy Bossette. “Then it’s right back in a matter of days.”
Marcy Bossette lives inside Chateau Orleans Apartments on Gray Street. It’s a complex filled with mostly elderly people in the city’s Greater Third Ward region.
Residents inside frequently call 311 and the city responds within a timely manner. The problem is stopping people from continuously dumping waste next to the apartment.
“It’s out of control,” said Bossette. “The police say they have to catch them in the act.”
Back at Sanchez’s home, the city has installed motion activated cameras to catch criminals in the act. He says, it’s not taking care of the problem but hopes the mayor makes an appropriate change to speed up the 311 process.