Dave Ramirez works to keep the Gardenville Parks Recreation Center in tip-top shape, but that's not always easy.
"Sometimes after the weekend, they'll go ahead and while we're not here, they'll throw their trash away, like in this parking lot. They'll just leave it in the corner or right in the way," he said.
Ramirez says he's has seen it all.
"Dressers, bedding, mattresses, couches just sitting in front of the fence," he said.
But he always makes sure the trash is gone before families come to play.
"It is a little disheartening, but we pick it up we get rid of it and try and make this park look good," he said.
For two weeks, code enforcement officers with Hillsborough County hope to help.
"The problem is people just assume it is okay to dump in the area," said Bill Langford.
Bill Langord is a general manager with the special enforcement unit of the Hillsborough County code enforcement team. He said the clean up will reach from north to south from Ohio Avenue to Gibsonton Drive, and east to west from Alafia Street to Lula Street. Residents who live in the boundaries and wish to participate in the program will be asked to show proof of residence, such as a Florida driver's license, Florida vehicle registration, or utility bills. They hope to encourage people to clean up without being given violations.
"This week and next week is about helping the community. It's not about if you are a repeat violator in the past, it's about, hey clean up, there's no excuses," Langford said.
Code enforcement officers said they will see some results, but the key to keeping the area clean is the community.
"It takes the community to do their part. They live in this community 24/7, and it's them that has to take pride. If you don't take pride in your community and get it while you can under control, then it's not going to help," Lanford said.
By noon, three tons of trash were in the dumpsters.
"If we remove one problem out of the neighborhood, it's a little safer place to live," Langford said.
Bringing hope to the area.
"I think they are going to be surprised at how many dumpsters they are going to have filled at the end of that project," Ramirez said.
Operation Fight the Blight: Gibsonton will run from September 3 to September 17, with hours of operation from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
During the operation, several dumpsters will be placed at 6515 Riverview Drive for the following approved discarded items: Accumulations (furniture, junk, trash, debris) • Metal • Electronics Hillsborough Code Enforcement Officers will partner with several other County agencies, including Affordable Housing Services, Animal Services, Public Utilities, and Public Works, along with the Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office and Tampa Electric Company workers for the clean-up campaign.
For information about materials that will be accepted at the drop-off point, contact Hillsborough County Code Enforcement at 813-274-6600.
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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