Illegal dumping site cleanup underway in NE Harris County

HOUSTON – A man drove up to a dumpster behind a Popeyes in northeast Harris County and dumped a small BBQ pit, then left the scene.

A hidden camera captured it all.

Harris County Constable’s Office, Precinct 1 has been watching the location for illegal dumpers.

For whatever reason, it has become a hot spot for dumping.

“It's horrible!" Grace Epko, who lives in the Sunset Ridge East community, said.

The homes in her neighborhood back up to the parking lot where the dumpster sits.

“You can smell it. It's like it's a dead corpse in here," Epko said.

Couches, old tires, trash, construction piping, even carpets and clothes are piled high around the dumpster.

Epko said it's a safety hazard that she's complained about for months to whomever would listen.

“Our children cut through here to go to school at Summer Creek High and at the corner store here,” Epko said. “In the summertime, they are up and down here and it's quite busy because of that.”

By Thursday afternoon, the Harris County Constable's Office Precinct 2 road and bridge crew came by to clean up the mess.

And because of calls, the Harris County Health Department sent someone out, too. The sheriff's office said the property owner should be cleaning up the mess, but that he couldn't keep up with the constant illegal dumping at this location.

“Precinct 2 is here to help him out,” deputy Mitch Bettin said. “Help the community out, really, it's really an eyesore. We're really here to help. We're happy to help.”

Watching the trash get cleaned up was a bittersweet moment for Epko, who said the garbage has been there since February. It was her email to KPRC that brought Channel 2 to the scene.

“I'm happy,” Epko said. “I'm going to be honest. I'm relieved, but I'm hurt that I have to go through this type of channel to get this cleaned up.”

The location has been under investigation for about a month, according to the Harris County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities said cameras are out there, and they’ve been working to track down the person, or people, responsible for the illegal dumping.

To report illegal dumping sites in your area, you can call 832-927-1567 or email environmental@cn1.hctx.net.

Download the Click2Houston news app in your app store to stay up-to-date with the latest news while you're on the go.

Sign up for KPRC 2 newsletters to get breaking news, sports, entertainment, contests and more delivered straight to your email inbox.