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76-year-old Riverview woman cleans up roadside trash

Illegal dumping is a big problem and Sandy White is doing something about it

ST. LOUIS — Full bags of trash, rolls of carpet padding and tires scattered all along Spring Garden Drive in Riverview. It’s a problem that’s been piling up across the St. Louis area.

One woman who’s lived in Riverview for more than two decades can’t stand looking at it. So, she spends afternoons picking it up and hauling it away.

"I’ve seen it when I've had my slack off time just get worse and worse because people don't want trash at their house, so they got to get rid of it," said 76-year-old Sandy White.

White doesn't understand why anyone would treat the neighborhood she's lived in for more than 20 years like a landfill.

"Who knows, life is complicated and stressful don’t you think? We can never know why anyone does something else," she explained.

"This is a beautiful part of north county and there are lots of good people here and most people do not do this. That’s the important thing to remember,” she said.

White believes it’s coming from renters who move in and don't sign up for the county's trash pick-up service provided by Waste Management.

She has an idea where it’s coming from.

"It’s Glasgow Village primarily because I find addresses then I can turn them in to be talked to by the county," said White.

The zip code where White lives in Riverview is 63137. That area includes Glasgow village and Bellefontaine Neighbors. According to Unitedzipcodes.org, about 20,000 people live in the area. The website pulls data from USPS, US Census Bureau and the Internal Revenue Service.

More than 60% of the homes in the area are owned, roughly 28% are rentals and 10% sit vacant.

"When new people come in, they might not have been told about the county's trash program," said White.

5 On Your Side called Waste Management. They told us they currently pick up for 6, 016 residential and commercial properties within the 63137 zip code.

There are 7,853 occupied units in the same area. That’s a difference of 1,837. So, where is all that trash going?

"I'm wondering why there can't be more cameras to catch these people," asked White.

White said contractors dump a lot here too.

“Maybe it costs a lot to get rid of it legally, who knows,” she said.

She ponders a lot while she's out there, but still finds the silver lining in all the trash.

"Aren't I fortunate I can still do it,” she laughed.

Illegal dumping carries a mandatory 3-day jail sentence and up to a $500 fine. St. Louis County police said there have been 10 calls for illegal dumping in Riverview this year, but no fines have been issued.

We also reached out to Councilwoman Shalonda Webb’s office to see if she had received any complaints about the dumping but we have not heard back.