Furniture, Old Concrete, Junk Cars Mar Green Space, Neighbors Say

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Bronx community are fed up with people using green space as their very own personal dumping ground.

As CBS 2’s Hazel Sanchez reported Tuesday, residents near Harding Park, in the Soundview section of the Bronx, have put polluters on notice,

Neighborhood residents said their community offers country life in the city, and even chickens come home to roost there.

“A beautiful place to live,” said Harding Park Homeowners Association President Dion Balcarran.

But Balcarran said people are turning his beloved community into a garbage dump.

“Beds, mattresses, refrigerators, stoves,” are among the items that have ended up in the neighborhood’s city-owned parkland, Balcarran said.

Large pieces of furniture and even graffiti-covered junk cars have been illegally dumped, too.

“We don’t want nobody dumping on us, messing with our oasis that we have over here,” Balcarran said.

“It makes me so angry,” added Harding Park resident Elbin Mena. “So I don’t care — I’m an ex-police detective, so I will pursue the guy — no matter what.”

The former NYPD detective said he has been trying to keep the neighborhood clean for decades. He even caught a Connecticut-based contractor dumping tons of torn-up concrete sidewalks in a field.

“If you’re going to dump that in Hunts Point where you’re supposed to, you’re going to spend a lot of money; over $1,000 that they had in that truckload to spend,” Mena said, “while if they just dump it here, that’s $1,000 in their pockets.”

Earlier this month, a resident’s surveillance camera caught a U-Haul truck as it pulled up in front of her home and dumped some old shelves. The city came to clean it up, but the dumper was never caught.

“Some people come from their homes — why? If they put it out for sanitation on the proper day, sanitation will gladly take it, instead of dirtying somebody else’s backyard,” Mena said.

Residents said they have eyes everywhere now, and they are confident the garbage will be gone for good.

Members of the Harding Park Homeowners’ Association said they were able to get the license plate in the most recent dumping incident, and police are now working to track down their suspect.

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