ST. PAUL, MINN. — Over the weekend residents of St. Paul took action over public trash lingering at a downtown blighted public parcel owned by the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MDOT).
According to the St. Paul Pioneer Press, the trash had been building for months from a former homeless encampment along Interstate 94 recently cleared by the city.
Businesses, the city and others have complained about the trash, according to Minnesota Public Radio. But the city did not ask its Parks and Recreation or other departments to clear the blighted public parcel owned by MDOT.
“We’ve been trying since December to get this cleaned up,” said Robert Humphrey, a spokesman with the St. Paul Department of Safety and Inspections.
MDOT reportedly said they were soliciting bids and that the cleanup might happen later this week. But residents took matters into their own hands.
Embarrassing! I will be going there Sunday, April 2nd with trash bags. care to join me I will bring coffeehttps://t.co/dVcuMkMJzN
— Erich Mische (@BlazeGlory) April 1, 2017
The people who live in the neighborhood have been living with four times more trash than we just delivered,” said Erich Mische about the bags of trash he deposited at St. Paul’s City Hall.
He added that it took a small neighborhood crew less than six hours to pick up a deluge of trash at the blighted public parcel, which local and state governments have been talking about addressing for months.
Mische, a former chief of staff to former St. Paul Mayor and former U.S. Senator Norm Coleman, said that he brought a portion of the garbage to city hall to make it easier for the city to dispose of. But, he did acknowledge he was making a point:
When St. Paul City Hall security informed Mische that a wedding party was about to come through, he moved the bags to another door. The security guard later told Mische that the city would prefer he didn’t leave the trash there also, and then provided local police with license plates from the two vehicles delivering the trash, according to a police report obtained by the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
Reportedly, police did not cite Mische or any other that day, and the mayor’s office and the city department of safety inspections said they would not be taking further action against Mische.
Editor’s Note: EfficientGov covers blight as well as homelessness, and St. Paul and other municipalities might consider what the city of Albuquerque is doing to help address both problems while it creates jobs: