Illegal dumping | St. Louis Public Radio

Illegal dumping

A heavily littered yard containing furniture and automobile parts in Dutchtown, a neighborhood in south St. Louis.
File Photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Community organizers in Dutchtown are struggling to stop people from outside of the south St. Louis neighborhood from dumping construction debris, mattresses and excessive amounts of trash in alleys and vacant lots.

The Dutchtown South Community Corporation has been working to reduce illegal dumping in the neighborhood through an Environmental Protection Agency-funded campaign since 2016. There’s also been an effort to address illegal dumping city wide. Mayor Lyda Krewson’s office launched its Clean Up St. Louis initiative last year to improve trash-collection services.

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson answers questions from reporters during a press availability at City Hall on Oct. 24, 2018.
File photo I Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson says she does not support giving the public a chance to vote on whether a private company should operate St. Louis-Lambert International Airport.

“There are four entities that would have to ultimately decide on this,” Krewson said Wednesday at a news conference that covered a variety of issues. “That would be the Board of Aldermen, which they represent the people of St. Louis, that would be the Board of E&A [Estimate and Apportionment], it would be the FAA and the airlines. So I personally think that those four groups will do a good job of evaluating any proposal, if we get to the point where we even receive proposals.”

Garbage scattered all over a vacant yard in St. Louis' Dutchtown neighborhood.
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Mattresses, ripped up furniture, piles of construction debris and scattered auto parts. In some working-class St. Louis neighborhoods, they’re often seen strewn across alleys and the backyards of vacant buildings.

Illegal garbage dumping has been a problem for decades in the Dutchtown and Walnut Park East neighborhoods. Recently, residents and community organizers have been trying to raise awareness of the issue through community workshops and events. Mayor Lyda Krewson’s office also launched the Clean Up St. Louis initiative this year to clean the most littered parts of the city and increase surveillance of illegal dumping.

Artist Shea Brown and Sunni Hutton from the Dutchtown South Community Corporation hold up a meditation pouf made out of plastic bags. March 2018
Eli Chen | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis artists plan to unveil two public art installations in the next couple weeks to draw attention to rampant illegal dumping in the Dutchtown neighborhood. 

Artist Shea Brown is building a "meditation and serenity station" made out of plastic bags that will be located at the corner of Virginia Avenue and Liberty Street. Another artist, Ann Johnson, is building a garden-inspired archway out of plastic barbecue-sauce jugs that will be illuminated by LED lights.

The Dutchtown South Community Corporation commissioned the two projects as a part of its public outreach campaign called "So Fresh, So Clean, So Creative Southside St. Louis" to reduce waste in the neighborhood.

Volunteers at a previous cleanup event organized by Dutchtown South Community Corporation with the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers
Provided by Dutchtown South Community Corporation

Four neighborhoods in south St. Louis could look a lot cleaner in the next couple years, thanks to new local efforts to address illegal dumping.

The "So Fresh, So Clean, So Creative Southside St. Louis" project, initiated by the Dutchtown South Community Corporation, recently received a $120,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency.

The two-year grant will fund efforts to educate residents on how to report illegal dumping, which is common in the neighborhoods of Dutchtown, Marine Villa, Gravois Park and Mount Pleasant. DSCC is working with the nonprofit group Brightside St. Louis to help with cleanup and education efforts.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, Aug. 11, 2011 - During her meetings this week with Missouri manufacturers, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., says she's heard good news about job-creation -- and beefs about the lack of government protection from overseas "dumping."

"Dumping'' is a practice where other countries sell items in the United States at a lower price than what they cost to produce. The aim is to undercut domestic producers and eventually drive them out of business.

This article first appeared in the St. Louis Beacon, May 5, 2011 - WASHINGTON - When Missouri-based Leggett & Platt Inc., found that cheap Chinese imports were cutting into its bedspring sales, the company got a federal "anti-dumping" order to lower Chinese sales by imposing duties that could double their price.

That, at least, was the theory. But soon after the U.S. anti-dumping duties were imposed in 2007, Chinese firms found a way to get around them: shipping the bedsprings via other Asian countries and then to U.S. markets under false claims of origin.