POSTED: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - 9:38am
UPDATED: Tuesday, March 29, 2011 - 6:11pm
The sign clearly states in Spanish, “Please don't throw trash here,” but if you walk just a few yards from these graves, you'll see piles and piles of trash compiled making this cemetery an eyesore.
If you drove up to La Palma Cemetery off Alton Gloor, you'll see two big piles of, well you can see it for yourself, trash! Trash that looks like it has been piling up for months. You’ll find anything from beer bottles, tires, buckets, pizza boxes, to pieces of concrete laying very closely to several graves.
La Palma Cemetery is privately owned. But the Brownsville health department says this is illegal dumping.
"It’s not allowed and the city has the regulations for people to throw their trash appropriately."
Health Director for the city of Brownsville, Art Rodriguez, says this cemetery has been reported in the past. About a year ago, they picked up all the trash left behind but it seems people are at it again.
"In addition to it being illegal, I think it shows a lack of respect for those locations. Cemeteries are considered private property and as such, people should respect private property."
Since the cemetery is considered a private property, Rodriguez says health workers will sometimes dig through the trash in hopes to find the person responsible for the illegal dumping. Sometimes they get lucky, sometimes they don't.
"The magnitude of the dumping usually decides the size of the citation, the more the fine or the higher the degree of the violation."
Most of the time, the city does need help from its residents. Rodriguez says finding the violators is tough but if someone catches them in the act, city officials will fine them and take them court. Although this cemetery is privately owned, city officials say they'll look into the matter.