Historic Detroit neighborhood struggles with litter, illegal dumping

'It's depressing,' says homeowner

DETROIT – A historic west side neighborhood is coming together to stop people from illegally dumping trash into their streets.

Residents of the neighborhood, south of 8 Mile Road near the intersection of Meyers Road and Norfolk Street, call the litter a welcome mat no one wants to see. A few vacant properties have become a dumping ground and the piles of trash continue to grow.

"When I look out, I see ugly," a neighbor said.

Local homeowner Esther Boyd is mortified that it isn't just neighbors who see the dumped garbage, as busloads of visitors travel to the area to see the historic Detroit Eight Mile Wall.

The Detroit Eight Mile Wall shortly after construction in 1941.

"There are tours," Boyd said. "We've had people coming from all over the world"

Dating back to the 1940s, the wall segregated black and white neighborhoods, and people come to see it and take pictures of it. 

"This is their welcome, and we don't want that," Boyd said.

Tourists from Australia were recently driven past the dumped garbage to visit the historic Detroit landmark.

The lot where the dumping is occurring is owned by the Detroit Land Bank. The city said the boarded-up home on the lot will be demolished and the area will be cleaned up.

"We have volunteers in the area to see if we can get that cleaned up," said Detroit District Manager Kim Tandy. 

"This is our community and it is sad," Boyd said. "It is sad."

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