HOUSTON - Nearly two months have passed since Third Ward residents asked for KHOU 11 News’ help cleaning up illegal dump sites piling up on their streets.

311 calls were answered and solid waste crews patrolled the ward, picking up all the heavy garbage. Now, the trash has returned around McIlhenny and Burkett Streets, leaving people feeling like the issue is a revolving door.

Ronald Clay Miller remembers a time when neighbors wouldn’t tolerate eye sores in the Third Ward.

“As we say, back in the day, you kept everything straight,” said Clay Miller. “People don’t believe that anymore.”

Heavy garbage drop-off sites could be possible solution to illegal dumping

Neighbors around McIlhenny and Burkett Streets say there’s an institutionalized feeling that it’s okay to dump in the area.

“You’ve got to live up to standards,” said Clay Miller. “That’s the only thing I’ll ask of my grandson. That he lives up to certain standards.”

Clay Miller moved away from the Third Ward 30 years ago and returned for a special trip to the newly remodeled Emancipation Park.

“My grandson just said, let’s go to the park,” said Clay Ward.

Seizing the opportunity, the family went to see the renovations. He believes breaking the Third Ward’s mold of accepting blight starts with projects like Emancipation Park. If beautification projects catch on, and the cost of homes stay low, he thinks the area will solve the illegal dumping problem.