Trash buildup in West Mesa tarnishes Memorial Park area

Albuquerque News

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – Dumping along the West Mesa has been a problem for years, but now the garbage is beginning to affect what some consider a sacred place.

Memorial Park was built in remembrance of the women who were found buried on the Mesa. Now, a neighbor says people are constantly dumping their unwanted items out there, and it’s beginning to look more like a dumpsite than a memorial.

Debbie Kyriakakos says the West Mesa directly behind her house looks like a junkyard. She says you can find just about anything from used mattresses and car bumpers to furniture and bags of trash, and she says the problem is nothing new.

“I’ve had company and I’ve picked them up at the airport…when I’m driving home, I’m like, ignore the trash,” said Kyriakakos.

She says now the trash is beginning to blow into the West Mesa Memorial Park nearby.

“To come out here and think it’s a place to illegally dump, it’s really unfortunate,” City Council President Klarissa Pena said.

Friday afternoon, the city’s Solid Waste Department cleaned up a lot of the trash near the park, but says keeping it clean is complicated because the land belongs to different agencies.

Now the city and the county are working together to try and put a stop to the illegal dumping in the West Mesa and around the county.

“We are putting a task force together to put all the government agencies together to figure out how to battle this,” County Commissioner Steven Michael Quezada said.

They say the Illegal Dumping Coalition will help them keep track of the problem areas and keep them clean.

The city says it will pick up unwanted large items at the curb if you put in a pick-up request on 311. The city says it’s free for you and at least $200 cheaper for them then sending crews out to the Mesa.

Councilor Pena says the Memorial Park is expected to be complete by next spring.

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