UNIONDALE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — How did tens of thousands of pounds of debris get dumped in a Long Island neighborhood?
As CBS2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, investigators said a contractor was trying to save money. But in allegedly so doing, the contractor has left a Uniondale neighborhood fighting mad.
“Taxpayers should not have to bear the burden of illegal dumping,” said Philip Smith of Uniondale.
The illegal dumping pile measures 5 feet high and 106 feet long. Residents said under cover of darkness, someone pulled up a huge truck and offloaded 80 pounds of construction debris adjacent to Jerusalem Avenue and the Meadowbrook Parkway.
“He just basically used us to dump all of his – you know, who knows what was in there?” said Soyla Baker of Uniondale.
Jose Napoleon Cruz Maltez, 39, is charged with criminal mischief and solid waste management violations. He runs L & J Stucco out of his opulent Valley Stream home.
A woman at the house declined to have Maltez come to the door.
The Nassau County District Attorney’s office said the debris came from a demolition site at a Forest Hills, Queens home.
“How did he have the nerve to do this and not worry about getting caught? Necause he was paid by someone to dump it legitimately,” said Uniondale homeowner Grady Hampton.
“That’s horrible!” said Uniondale homeowner Iris Hamilton. “I’m glad that somebody’s paying attention to it.”
Four truckloads of illegally dumped debris saved the suspect $3,600, authorities said. Meanwhile, rodents were spotted amidst the rubble.
“There’s a lot of kids here,” said Raymond Shaw of Uniondale. “It’s very dangerous. Shouldn;t be allowed to do that.”
“I just happened to see the stuff piled there,” said Uniondale homeowner Louis Cianciulli. “I can’t understand why nobody noticed him going in there.”
The New York State Department of Transportation estimated that the site cleanup will cost $15,000. Last year, the DOT removed 2,400 garbage bags filled with litter from Long Island roadways at a cost of four and $500,000.
Maltez’s attorney said his client had nothing to do with the dumping, and that he is “honest” and cooperating fully.