Frayser neighborhood fed up with smelly trash heap outside abandoned house

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- People in one Frayser neighborhood say they feel ignored after stinky garbage from a recently-abandoned house was left sitting on the curb for weeks.

"It’s a sour-like smell," said neighbor Jan Wells.

Neighbors on Julia Street say they’ve left countless messages with the city’s code enforcement department, but nothing’s being done.

"It’s horrible. We can’t get anyone out here to clean it up or anything," Wells said. "It’s embarrassing to have family come to your home and all that’s sitting out there every day."

The sights and smells are one thing, but neighbors say the mess is also bringing out rats.

"Coming out of the pile there. And you know, just running from the pile, going in and going out," said neighbor Barbara Avant.

They tell WREG they believe it would be a different story if they lived somewhere else.

"This would not be happening in Germantown, Arlington or even Cordova," Wells said. "It’s just because of the area we live in – it’s just a poor community. So, we’re just overlooked by the city."

Both women tell WREG they’ve called the city’s code enforcement department repeatedly.

"I couldn’t even tell you how many times we’ve called just to try to get it picked up," Wells said.

Avant recalls complaining to the department at least three times in recent weeks, she said.

"When you talk to them they’ll tell you they’re going to get somebody out to get it up, but haven’t anybody got out here yet to get it up," she said.

And it’s not the first time something like this has happened, according to the women. They say debris from the storm last Memorial Day sat outside the house next door for nearly a year.

They both say they're fed up.

"Just tired of it," Avant said.

What they want seems simple enough.

"We just want it cleaned up. That’s all we’re asking," Wells said. "That’s not too much to ask."

And to feel like they’re being heard, even if they don’t live in the most affluent neighborhood in the city.

"'Cause we like our street clean, too," Avant said.

WREG sent photos of the mess to the city's code enforcement department.

They said they can't confirm whether or not the neighbors' did, in fact, contact the code enforcement department without their 311 service request number, which wasn't provided to WREG.

City of Memphis Media Affairs Manager Arlenia Cole said Saturday that solid waste crews will check out the house Monday or Tuesday, and notify the property owner that they have five days to clean it up or they will be charged.



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