South Floridians are all desperate for debris left behind by Hurricane Irma to finally get picked up and hauled away from their lawns, but police say there is a group that is cashing in by picking up, but not dropping off.
Like most of his neighbors, South Miami resident Gary Hebert is still dealing with a huge mess, so when he saw a cleanup truck pull up to his home Monday morning, he couldn’t help but smile.
“This big truck that they use to haul debris is parked by the pile and they’re picking up debris. I’m like ‘Wow. How did they pick this area?'” Hebert said.
But his happiness shortly turned to anger after he realized that the man driving the truck wasn’t there to help.
“This is what he left us. He left all these big pieces. All this he dumped,” Hebert told Local 10 News reporter Michael Seiden.
It turned out that the driver was only there to dump debris, and wasn’t picking anything up.
“Another neighbor saw the same thing and we realized what had just happened. They just scammed the system,” South Miami Mayor Phillip Stoddard said.
Stoddard lives a couple doors down from Hebert and was shocked by what happened. He believes this may be going on all over South Florida.
“They picked it up somewhere else, probably got it certified so they get credit for the load, and instead of taking it all the way up to the disposal point, they just quickly dropped it off here in this neighborhood, so they can get back to work quicker and get another load,” Stoddard said.
The issue is a huge problem for a city that is already dealing with so much debris.
Anyone with information about who is dumping debris into people’s neighborhoods is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.