Unsolved dumping issues forcing Memphians to consider moving out of the city

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Neighbors in one Cordova neighborhood were tired of seeing a dumping mess including an overturned couch, ripped trash bags full of junk and broken furniture and started to get concerned about reports of rodents in the mess.

That’s what people like Judy Robinson have to drive by every day..

“Spring break: they either left our were put out,” Judy Robinson said of the former tenants of the Brady Creek Cove home.

Deana Sanford also lives on the cove with her daughter. She said she started calling the city to get the trash removed.

“One of the people that reported the trash noted they’d seen rats coming in and out of the garbage. These kids are playing on the piles so that was a big concern,” Sanford said.

311 records show three people have called to report it.

City officials said they’d given notice to the landlord to clean it up, but the legal window is still open for the owner to take care of it on their own.

Sanford just wished it wouldn’t drag out any longer.

“My house was being appraised so I was hoping it’d be gone before they got here but it wasn’t,” she said.

Her home value has decreased by about $10,000 since she bought it in 2005.

She said dumping issues may seem small, but they're really part of a bigger picture; she said she's considering moving out of Memphis and instead to surrounding suburbs.

"When you can't look out your home you're paying all this money for and get your garbage picked up, then you wonder why you stay,” Sanford said.

“It decreases property value. It’s going down in a big hurry,” neighbor Austin Camp said. “I grew up in Germantown. You cant have trash in street for more than two days there.”

WREG drove to other parts of Memphis and found similar problems; massive dumping including boxes and buckets piled high on the side of North Parkway.

City officials said it's a “chronic problem.” They urged people to call 311 like Sanford and others did, so they can try to help.

Sanford says the problem stems from less people being able to afford home ownership today than before the recession. She pointed out renters are at times less committed to their community.

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