I live by El Paso High.
The official name of the subdivision is Alexander Heights, but no one calls it that. Our neighborhood association calls it the Rio Grande Neighborhood. I call it Barrio Heights.
It’s a mixed use neighborhood. We’ve got apartments and single family homes. Corner stores. Schools and a vegan restaurant (if it’s still open).
We are the kind of walkable neighborhood contemplated by Plan El Paso, the award-winning development plan that guides our city planners.
But almost every week there’s a dumpster overflowing somewhere in the neighborhood.
It’s not a new problem. I’ve been complaining about it ever since Beto was my City Representative. Back then the Code Enforcement guy the City sent out to ticket the landlords got so fed up with hearing from me that he ticketed every house on my block for trivial infractions. My neighbor got ticketed for dead fronds on her palm tree. I quit calling.
The last time I called the City’s Help Line, 311, to complain (maybe a year ago) the nice girl who answered the phone said I should call the dumpster company. (Those 311 operators sound like they’re about 16.)
Do you think that El Paso Disposal wants to hear from the neighbor of one of their dumpsters? I don’t pay them and they don’t answer to me.
I’ve called them before. It didn’t work out for me.
A big part of the problem is that the dumpsters just aren’t big enough. The four-yard dumpster that services the apartments across the street from my house is used by 13 apartments. Those 13 apartments are subject to a lot of churn, people moving in and out. They’re cheap apartments, and most of the residents are all looking to move up and out. A lot of stuff gets left behind, and the dumpster is full more weeks than it’s not.
The nice lady at El Paso Disposal who answers the phone tells me that there is a lot of illegal dumping in my neighborhood. She means that people who don’t live in the apartments are using the dumpsters. That’s their standard excuse. And she’s probably not lying, even though she’s misrepresenting the issue. She just doesn’t know any better. They’re isn’t a lot of illegal dumping in those dumpsters. They’re just not big enough.
Apparently it’s no one else’s problem but mine.