Trash or treasure, Bartow man’s stuff has to go, city says

BARTOW, Fla. (WFLA) – They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.  You can all it what you want, but David Boyette’s piles of stuff are driving the residents of Bartow’s historic district nuts.  And, believe it or not, the man in charge of code enforcement says it was even worse in years past.

Boyette believes he’s onto something with his collection—a project that could make him some money.hoarder2

But along the way, he’s costing the City of Bartow lots of cash.

“What in the world is all this?” you might wonder if walking around the property littered with car seats, dishes, hand-trucks, and televisions. Bartow’s code enforcement department hasn’t figured out its purpose, but they’ve been dealing with it for decades.

“It’s been an ongoing issue for the whole 20 years I’ve been here,” Bartow Building Director Gregg Lamb said.

Warning after warning- and complaint after complaint- the city finally tore down the house that stood at the property last year after it caught fire.  But in a matter of months, David Boyette was at it again, Lamb said.

“We’ve tried to help them in the past- I’ve offered them free dumpsters,” Lamb said.  “But nothing was ever put in those dumpsters.”

Boyette insists he’s going to sell all the items, but the city’s not buying it.  So they told him starting Thursday, he’s got a week to get it all off the property.

Boyette said whatever he doesn’t sell he will donate to a local charity.  According to him, everything will be gone on Monday.

The neighbors have had it with the place and are relieved code enforcement is stepping in again.

It’s been a long ordeal that comes with a cost.

“Just in demolition cost alone you’re looking at $15,000,” Lamb said.  “We could have several more thousand dollars in this next cleanup, not counting police department, fire department, our staff attorneys.  It’s way up there.”

Neighbor Alan Adams has the property as his front porch view and can’t wait to see it in a cleaner state.

“It looks like a garbage dump over there all the time,” Adams said.

But Boyette believes his collection could do some good for the neighborhood.

“I’m gonna start an org here called “”  that’s what I’m doing,” Boyette said. “I mean I’m gonna raise their property values. Who the hell are they to think I can’t do that because of this??”

Code enforcement officials get complaints on the property every single day,” Lamb said. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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