Strangers dump trash in elder's backyard, city says she needs to clean it up or pay up

- Can you imagine seeing old TV’s, microwaves, and even crutches just tossed into your backyard?

"They were throwing trash in the yard back there. I told them they couldn't be doing that. They told me to shut up," said Mary.

Mary lives along Irwin Creek in Lincoln Heights in West Charlotte. She asked us not to show her face or share her real name.

Mary says she called 3-1-1 to talk to the city about the dumping. They told her that she had to clean up the mess because it was on her property. If she didn't, Mary would get a bill from the city.

"If something is in your yard making your yard look bad that you didn't put there and you report it, why you have to go through all this to get it moved. It would be different if i didn't pay taxes. Here I am and the city ain't giving me nothing," said Mary.

 When neighbors found out what was going on, they organized a community clean-up for this Saturday.

"I’m told if it's not cleaned up this week, the city will have no choice but to clean it up and bill the homeowner who is an elder in the community on a fixed income," said Danielle Hilton.

So far, Hilton has rallied a few neighbors to join in, but says she's concerned about the bigger picture. She asks why the city is throwing the blame and responsibility on an elderly woman.

"It makes me wonder if west side matters to the city and the county. That's the question I’m trying to answer. Do we matter today," said Hilton.

The organizer of the clean-up says solid waste services are expected to put a dumpster near the site for neighbors to use this Saturday.

City officials tell us homeowners are responsible for their property - no matter if strangers are dumping trash on it.

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