Local community members say they’re tired of trash piling up

People in a local community say they feel like they’re living in a landfill.

Five people in Massac County, Illinois, say they’ve tried multiple times to get a neighbor to clean their yard, but nothing has been done.

As soon as you pull onto May Avenue, all you can see is trash on the corner. It’s actually on the road. There’s everything from diapers to old tires sitting out there and the homeowners that we spoke to say this has gone on too long.

One community member, Keith Anderson, says his family has lived in this community since the mid-60s. Today, he says he lives next to a land fill. “It’s a neighborhood that’s gotten out of control. It used to be a really nice community out here,” Anderson said. He takes a lot of pride in his yard and had to pick up trash that blows into his yard every day. You can see the property line clearly. It’s not just separated by a fence, but by trash.

“We constantly have animals out here digging in the trash —skunks, and we got rats,” he added. He isn’t the only person that’s reached out to law enforcement and county commissioners, trying to get the yard/street cleaned up.

Donna Hasty has lived in her home for three years. She says she’s too embarrassed to invite anyone over because of how badly trash has piled up. She says it’s a health risk. “Dirty diapers, shingles, Christmas trees. It’s just a hazard to people’s health out here and nothing gets done,” Hasty said.

Massac County Sheriff Ted Holder says he’s done all he can do at this point. Sheriff’s deputies sent out a notice to the homeowner on June 8, which gave him 15 days to clean up the trash that violated a county ordinance. That was almost three months ago. Now, it’s in the hands of the county commissioners to clean it up.

“It’s not like the people in Barterville are being forgotten and neglected. They’re not. It’s just a process that we have to go through,” Commissioner Gerald Childers said. He said that process is coming to an end. They board has decided to pay a contractor $900 to clean up the property next week.

The homeowner is also charged with violating the state’s burning law for burning some of that garbage. He is expected to be in court on Oct. 8 for that charge. 

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