MCALLEN — Ramon Garcia has lived in the Whitewing neighborhood on La Vista and 23rd in McAllen all his life and says the problem with illegal dumping has been going on for years.
"They just drive by in the middle of the night with their lights off and start dumping stuff. we've caught them and yelled at them before, there's no way we can stop them," said Garcia.
Garcia says the debris from the illegal dumping brings many unwanted pests.
"Roaches, rats, you know dogs, cats, possums. Sometimes you can smell dead animals out there," said Garcia.
The city of McAllen partnered with keep McAllen beautiful to help these residents clean it up. Gaby Reyna says much of the debris is leftover from hired contractors after the big hailstorm.
"What happens with these dumpsites is it attracts more trash, so people are going to confuse it for an area we're going to be picking up trash from and so then you have a really big illegal dump site, so this is just an example of that," said Reyna.
Charles is one of 12 volunteers today helping clear the material.
"Making sure everything stays clean," said Charles.
These teens are all from Beto house, a correctional facility for juveniles. The cleanup is a part of their community service, but most use it as a means to better themselves.
"How to get back on the right path to do good, to help out and to actually listen," said Charles.
The volunteers help fill these yellow roll off bins. Each bin holds up to 3 to 5 tons of debris, which will be taken to the landfill.
"Depending on the neighborhood size, it's one roll off for every four streets," said Reyna.
The number of neighborhoods means residents can only expect this service once a year. In the meantime, Garcia says it's a start.
"Now that it looks better, hopefully they won't come around and start dumping anymore, but we'll see later on during the week, see what happens," said Garcia.