CBS4 Problem Solvers: Residents complain of illegal dumping in alley

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – The county’s Health and Hospital Corporation is looking into an illegal dumping issue on Indy’s south side after several emails from CBS4.

Lee Epperson rents a house along East LaGrande Avenue. Behind his property, there is an alley.

“We try to have some pride in our property but then you have somebody that doesn’t care about anybody and you’re faced with this,” Epperson said, pointing to a big pile of trash.

Epperson and his neighbors, many of which did not want to go on camera, said contractors were emptying vacant houses and dumping the materials and leftover items along the alley. Most of the trash sat in the backyard of 2013 Calhoun Road.

“This stuff was brought in from other houses,” he said. “I’ve found TVs dumped over here, old couches and stuff that get nasty.”

CBS4 found an entire bedroom set, a chair, old carpeting, kids' toys, cardboard boxes and more.

“I have seen rats and mice out here in the summer, too,” Epperson said.

CBS4 found out that both houses, which sit at 2013 and 2017 Calhoun Road, are vacant. Out front, Casas Barratas Aqui—a rental company—has their phone number posted on a sign.

Reporter Angela Brauer contacted Indianapolis’ Business and Neighborhood Services and Marion County’s Health and Hospital Corporation. Each agency confirmed they have investigated high weed and trash violations at 2013 Calhoun Road before. In June 2018, HHC fined the property owner several times and sent a county crew to clean up the property.

Epperson said, though, the illegal dumping continued.

“It made no difference,” he said.

City County Councilor Frank Mascari got involved, too. He said he wasn’t aware there was such a problem. He requested an investigation. Within hours, HHC had cleaned up most of the large items from the property. The county also said it would consider installing surveillance cameras to catch whomever was responsible.

CBS4 tried to track down the property owner. Grover Davis, an attorney, said the property owner was out of the country. He was also unaware of the illegal dumping. He promised to get someone out to clean up the yard. He added that if it was in fact a contractor that was doing the illegal dumping, he would make sure that individual knew not to do it again or threatened the employee would not get paid.

“Thank you for caring,” Epperson told CBS4 over the phone. “Thank you for all you have done.”

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