This is not the most pleasant story to report on. But, soiled toilet paper flying into the yards of residents along one Bradenton street is an unfortunate reality the city is now struggling to stop.
For the past year city officials said they’ve dealt with illegal dumping at a vacant city owned lot on Manatee Avenue East and 18th Street East. Recently, the illegal dumpers started leaving human waste all along the park.
“You just walked right through where it all was,” one resident told us off camera as we were getting video of the lot. “It was disgusting, and everywhere,” the man who did not want us to use his name told us.
“You don't want that stuff blowing around in neighborhoods, nobody does,” City of Bradenton Public Information Officer Tim McCann said. “And, it's been tough because apparently someone, or someones, are doing this in the dead of the night.”
The problem has been ongoing for the past year. McCann said it started back up again in November. The first week of 2017 he said crews were cleaning up human waste every single day for nearly an entire week.
“It's gross and it could be a health hazard,” McCann said.
The problem is now so bad Bradenton police met with Public Works at a city council meeting to get a plan in place to stop it.
”One time me and my brother was walking though and we smelled a very suspicious bag. We had no idea what was in it and we were not curious enough to find out what was in it,” Luke Sullivan said. Sullivan lives across the street and says some of the waste has ended up in his yard. “It's disturbing living right across the street and it smells, you can smell it. You know it's not recycled water I'm smelling.”
The city said they are trying to catch whoever is leaving the bags of trash and human waste, but would not tell us their tactics to tip off the dumpers.
They are asking people in the area to be extra vigilant and call police if they see anything suspicious in the area.
Some homeless people frequent the park. But, McCann said there’s too much trash to suggest it is from them.