Cargill County Park looks like a landfill this week. Several dumpsters are overflowing with furniture, toys, and tools. No one is illegally dumping it though. County code enforcement officials are encouraging residents to drop off all the junk during Fight the Blight campaign.
The clean up campaign in Gibsonton started Sept. 3 and runs through 17. During designated hours, residents can get rid of their unwanted items free of charge.
“We try to make it as easy as possible with no excuses for the residents,” explained Bill Langford, General Manager of the Special Enforcement Unit of Hillsborough County's Code Enforcement Department.
Edward Thomas came to drop off two truckloads full of junk after a code enforcement officer came to his door to tell him about Fight the Blight.
“I was planning on renting a dumpster to get rid of it and this is a godsend,” said Thomas.
Langford says tens of tons of trash was dropped off in the first week. Gibsonton is not the first community to benefit from the program.
“We look at low income areas, what they call Community Development Block Grants, and that's where we focus our attentions. Basically it's blighted areas. It's not spot blight. It's blighted. It affects the entire community,” explained Langford.
The code enforcement department is also targeting foreclosed and vacant properties within a one-mile Safe Zone around schools during Fight the Blight. Crews are mowing lawns and locking doors and fences.
“The banks sometimes are not motivated to step in and do the right thing,” explained Langford.
The dumpsters are located at 6515 Riverview Road in Gibsonton. You need to bring your driver's license, utility bill, or vehicle registration to prove you live in Gibson. The hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 9-13 and Sept. 16-17.