ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – One of Albuquerque’s newer neighborhoods is dealing with a growing problem, as a huge pile of illegally dumped roadside trash keeps getting bigger.
The heap of garbage sits in a privately owned, vacant lot along Louisiana Boulevard just north of Alameda. While neighbors reported it to the city’s 311 website nearly a week ago, the pile remained at the site Thursday.
“It’s been a nuisance for a long time,” said Alex, a neighbor speaking of the vacant lot where the garbage is piled up.
Most of the neighboring vacant lots are owned by the Sandia Pueblo, which has a fence around the portions of land it owns. The lot with the illegal dump has no fence around it.
Since the land isn’t publicly owned, the city cannot put a fence around it. Without a fence, cars are able to drive from the curb-free roadway directly on to the vacant lot.
“People are just tired of seeing it,” said Jonathan Lomax, a neighbor who just moved into his newly built home in late 2019.
Lomax says he often sees people driving cars on the nearby property.
“I feel bad for the person that owns it, you know because now, what are they supposed to do? Do they have to put up a fence? Are they supposed to go clean it up?” Lomax said. “I don’t know, do you penalize the person that owns it? It’s kind of a touchy subject, you know?”
According to the city’s 311 website, the pile has been reported to the city twice in the last week. A neighbor even recently placed a homemade sign in one of the driveways on to the dumpsite, reading “no dumping please.”
“It’s gotten worse since then,” said Willie Patterson of the trash heap.
While the trash pile remained on Thursday night, the city says it’s working to address the issue.
Albuquerque Planning Department Director Brennon Williams told KRQE News 13 that the city’s Code Enforcement division has attempted to contact the property owner in an effort to get them to clean up the mess. The city says it’s still waiting on a response.
Typically, the city gives property owners about a week to clean-up nuisance dump sites on private property.
In the case of the Louisiana dumpsite, the city says the property owner has about another week before Solid Waste crews will move in and clean up the mess themselves. If that happens, the city says it will charge the cost of the clean up to the property owner, typically in the form of a lien on the property.
The illegal dumpsite in question is a less than a two-minute drive from the city’s nearby Eagle Rock solid waste convenience center.