UPDATE: Massive trash heap near River, Oracle all cleaned up

UPDATE: Massive trash heap near River, Oracle all cleaned up
Wash before and after clean up (Source: KOLD News 13)

TUCSON, AZ (KOLD News 13) - Good news to update a story KOLD News 13 brought you last week, a wash on Tucson's northwest side, once filled with trash has been cleaned up.

It was less than a week ago that a wash near Oracle and River could have been mistaken for a dump site - filled with furniture, weapons and drug paraphernalia.

The area was suspected to be a homeless camp and dump site. The land was privately owned and the owners were issued a citation by the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality to clean it up or face fines and a possible lawsuit.

According to neighbors, several truckloads of trash have been removed over the past five days.


Homeless camp surfaces near neighborhood

A massive pile of trash and debris just feet away from a major Tucson intersection could be on the move; but neighbors say it won’t solve the problem.

"This is a little something else," said a 20-year resident of a neighborhood on the northwest corner of Oracle and River road. He did not wish to be identified. "I don't enjoy living near a trash dump. It is a complete eyesore."

The wash and areas adjacent to Oracle road are littered with trash, drug paraphernalia and weapons.

“A few months ago I ran in to a gentleman out here shooting up,” said the resident. “People used to walk their dogs through this wash behind our neighborhood. Not anymore, the people back here are not as friendly as they used to be.”

The area is a popular homeless corridor.

"This is a health department issue as well. They are going to the bathroom somewhere."

“Wow, I’m talking about how bad it is and I didn’t realize it was this bad,” said Tyler Yahraes, manager of Tucson T-Shirt, a custom apparel store nearby, while he watched a video of the mess. He says it has been difficult to figure out who is responsible for cleaning it up.

“It’s always a ‘ask him, talk to him, go back to this guy, not my department’ kind of conversation,” he said.

Trash left behind near Oracle, River (Source: KOLD News 13)
Trash left behind near Oracle, River (Source: KOLD News 13)

KOLD News 13 has learned the land is privately owned and the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality had issued the owners a citation to clean up the property within 30 days on Jan. 3. If they do not comply, the county has the option to eventually file to sue the landowners; a process that would take months.

Homeless camp in wash near River and Oracle

CHECK THIS OUT! We are investigating a possible homeless camp in a wash near River and Oracle. Michael Colaianni - Tucson News Now is trying to find out who is responsible for the cleanup.

Posted by Tucson News Now on Thursday, January 31, 2019

Crews began cleaning up the area on Feb. 4. They used abandoned shopping carts to haul away the rubble. Several trips were made to the dump. Progress was made, but there is still a large amount of trash that remains including lawn mowers, pill bottles, electrical equipment and needles. Those who work and live nearby say until the property is developed, the trash and drug use issues will continue.

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