SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – Broken furniture, toys, lumber, and other debris are scattered all over the lawn of a vacant house on Eastern Avenue in Springfield. The building is expected to be torn down later in the year, but the state of the property highlights a larger problem in our region.
Illegal dumpsites no longer fester behind fences in a backyard. They’re now out in the open for the whole neighborhood to see.
Calvin Austin, who has lived in the Eastern Avenue area for most of his 52 years, says it is disgraceful. He told 22News that he has never seen such an increase in dumping and disrespect for property.
“They pull over at night. I witness it, but I’m not a person who takes down license plates. But they dump it and take off real fast, and they figure this is a house that’s abandoned so they figure they’ll use them as a dumping area and they don’t care about the neighborhood,” Austin said.
Yet at least one Springfield organization is trying to do something about it.
Keep Springfield Beautiful plans to clean up the property over the weekend. It is the first part of a much larger beautification effort, leading up to the scheduled cleanup of dozens of city properties on May 3.
“They used to throw things behind buildings, now they throw them right out in front of the sidewalk,” Mike Cass of Keep Springfield Beautiful said. “Whenever there are abandoned, blighted properties there’s going to be illegal dumping. The answer: put the house back on the tax roll, get people who want to stay in the city of Springfield.”
Mike Cass estimates that there are at least seventy such abandoned buildings that have become breeding grounds for illegal dumping, all a detriment to the city.