Action and Reaction

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"I'm happy!" exclaimed Mildred Sanford, a resident of Meridian's 22nd Avenue.

Sanford is talking about the cleanup effort in a yard adjacent to hers. Around 2:00 p.m. Thursday, workers from Southern Waste Disposal began cleaning the unsightly yard at 2107 22nd Avenue.

About a month ago, the tenant in the house was evicted and all of his household belongings placed in the yard. They stayed there until now.

"It's a disgrace. It really is, because if it was in the other settlement it never would've been thrown out there in the first place," Sanford said.

So, why did it take so long to have it removed?

"That was one of the problems. We did not know who the actual owner is. The house went into foreclosure," said Odell Hopkins, Meridian's solid waste compliance officer.

For almost a month, Hopkins says city officials had been trying to locate the new owner of the property. However, they had been unsuccessful until Thursday morning, after Newscenter 11's story aired, when calls started coming in.

"People that were responsible stepped forward and that's being cleaned," said Hopkins.

Hopkins says it's the owner of the property who actually had it cleaned.

"We've been working this actually for almost a month. I just can't just rush out and spend the city's money, just to clean up something when it really is someone else's responsibility," Hopkins said.

"I just appreciate them coming and getting the mess up. I hugged them, yes I did," Sanford said. "Because I was glad they came to get it. I gave them a pair of gloves to help pick up the stuff and told them I would help them if they wanted me to.”

“So, it meant a lot to you?”

It sure did!"

Newscenter 11 checked with the Mississippi Department of Health, which found no environmental hazard.