EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Illegal dumping continues to be a major concern across the Borderland. The City Council met with Environmental Services on how to modify, and improve the tools for combating illegal dumping.

The representatives have come to the conclusion that Environmental Services has come a long way to work along with the City of El Paso and EP Water.

Due to Covid, a lot of programs have been suspended. One of the affiliates to bring back would be Keep El Paso Beautiful, Gift to the River, Gift to the Mountains and Great American Clean -Up. Environmental Services has been working alongside with Neighborhood associations.

ESD out reach is working a contract with private companies to hold on weekend neighborhood clean ups. Plus they are working with new partners like EL Paso County, Union Pacific Railroad, Texas Gas, El Paso Electric, Neighborhood Association and Streets Maintenance.

Although partnerships and closing the customer education and feedback will have no cost. For the bring back resources the estimated costs to be refunded by ESD would be $50,000 for Keep El Paso Beautiful, $35,000 for El Paso Water Utility and $32,000 for the clean up events.

Chief Transit and Field Operations Officer Ellen Smyth told KTSM illegal dumping has been a concern about three months ago. 

“At that time we explained, I had put together a PowerPoint that day and explained to them, what we currently do, the whole history lesson, if illegal dumping complaint comes in and goes to environmental services or goes to code enforcement, goes to PD, or could go to a variety like the water utility, they have their own property, there electric company,” Smyth said.

Representative Anello and Sissy Lizarraga brought up examples about illegal dumping, one on private property, resident driveway and the other commercial property. However, the City Council has been waiting for more of an aggressive idea rather than having phone calls come in. 

Since then, Environmental Services has met with PD and Constables.

“Environmental Services has met with Code Enforcement Officers, PD, we met with the Constables, and we’ve talked to our partners who own land, anybody who owns land. So, water utility, all of the gas pipe lines, anybody with an easement. The School District has property, and, so, as a result of these conversations that we’ve had. It’s what we are going to be presenting tomorrow to the City Council,” Smyth said.   

One example of illegal dumping is when a resident is facing an eviction and the property owner puts out their belongings. Once the resident does not pick up their stuff it is considered illegal dumping.

“Evictions, we were not being notified, only the constiples are notified for an eviction. PD, is not notified, and codap enforcement is not notified. And so what we’ve done, we’ve  already set up an agreement with the constiples to where they will notify us that same day. There’s an eviction that is occurring today and that way we can keep an eye on it from the very beginning before it gets out of hand.” Smyth said.  

Environmental Services is working with the El Paso Water Utility to target trash going into rivers, as well as Keep El Paso Beautiful, to utilize with school districts and clean up efforts. 

PD has made an agreement that once a photo of a sofa or tire is taken, it’s an acceptable case that Environmental Services can come clean up but without an agreement it’s like trespassing, Smyth says.  

The goal is to have the authority for memorandums, if they discover illegal dumping they can be reimbursed. 

Smyth says they’re looking forward to working out the agreement to keep El Paso looking better than ever. To watch the latest City Council meeting click here.

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