A makeshift landfill is now creating bug problems for neighbors, and Hillsborough County is in no hurry to clean it up.
The main reason is that the county is hoping that the people responsible will pay to clean it up, so taxpayers don’t have to.
The site is adjacent to two housing complexes, where residents say they are seeing more bugs.
“They’re flying around your head,” said Ryan Hacynski, who lives a few hundred feet from the illegal dump.
“Sometimes you hear them buzzing at night,” he said.
“We’ll just be eating our dinner and gnats will just be flying into our food,” said Paul Dance, who lives in the same townhouse complex.
For at least three months, neighbors have had to keep bug spray handy
“They’re just like going up our nose, going in our ear,” said Elizabeth Alegria, who said a gnat flew into her eye over the weekend.
Reports say trucks filled with trash have come onto the property in the dead of night, leaving behind things like construction debris, old mattresses, rotten food and other things you might find in an actual dump.
Code enforcement opened a case against the property owner in December, but inspectors were not allowed onto the property and violation notices were returned unopened.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office and Environmental Protection Commission also are involved.
“It’s just a wait and see game, and as we were told, they’re sorry it’s a nuisance for us,” said Hacynski.
None of the agencies would talk about the case, saying it’s an ongoing criminal investigation.
The property owner does not live here but recently filed an eviction notice to his ex-girlfriend, who does.
We tried to talk to her, but no one would come to the gate, and a notice said trespassers would be shot.
Neighbors are tired of waiting on a fix.
“We’re basically just being told to wait, even though we’re potentially putting people’s health at risk,” Hacynski said.
We’ve also learned of another potential danger at the site.
On December 22nd, firefighters were called to extinguish a fire that broke out in the garbage.
It took about 30 minutes to bring the blaze under control.
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