It is a growing problem at the West Pasco County Habitat for Humanity, illegal dumpers.
Surveillance video captured two men last week dumping nine mattresses and box springs outside the gate for the West Pasco Habitat for Humanity Restore. The gate is clearly marked, “no dumping.”
“People just ignore it,” Executive Director Kobus Appelgrijn told ABC Action News reporter Michael Paluska.
“The biggest problem is dumping mattresses. The second problem is dumping furniture, like couches, and some things some people dump is pure home garbage,” Appelgrijn said. “We sometimes get people that are dumb enough to leave the actual name and address in there and that happens quite a bit as well.”
But for the two men dumping mattresses, Appelgrijn said the only hope they have to catch the men is surveillance video that shows their truck pull up and the two men dump the mattresses and take off. It was Wednesday March 15 around 6:16 p.m. when the cameras first recorded the crime in progress. From the time the truck drove into frame and left it was less than five minutes.
“These are not donations, this is trash,” Appelgrijn said.
And every television, couch, mattress, or other item adds up.
“I would say over the last year that we probably spent just a little bit under $5000, is that amazing or what,” Appelgrijn said in disbelief. “The first thing that runs through my mind is ‘what is the matter with these people, don't they know what we are trying to do.’”
Appelgrijn said $5,000 could go towards helping build a brand new home for a needy family. Or it would have been used to help two families get a new roof, build a ramp into their home, or do general repairs.
Appelgrijn said they do 12 projects a year in their program called Roof, Ramps, and Repair, each one averages out to about $2,500.
Anyone with information is urged to call the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office at 1-800-706-2488.