Blue Summit, the unincorporated area touching Independence and Kansas City, features many elements that should attract the eye while driving through, such as wide hills and plentiful trees. However, these more attractive parts of the area are currently being overshadowed by an epidemic of trash being piled in front of the public eye.
Residents gathered at the Inter County Fire Protection District office on Wednesday to share grievances they are currently facing, and the amount of trash being dumped in Blue Summit was at the top of the list. Representatives from the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department came to start the process of finding a solution.
Inter City Chief Jeff Jewell called the issue of the trash being dumped “a travesty,” with empty lots being used as trash dumps, with old tires and hundreds of bags of garbage piling up, with no one designated to remove them.
“This is one of the prettiest areas in Jackson County, but it’s got a lot of places that need to be cleaned up,” Jewell said.
Vacant houses are being filled with trash, and Jewell cited one resident even dropping bags of trash directly outside their house window.
“People are fed up with that,” he said.
Several residents voiced they were tired of having to pick up trash from their streets, and their frustration with individuals driving from out of town to use Blue Summit as a trash dump.
Jewell said the issue belongs to more than the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, and many residents have reached out to the county codes enforcement office, but a solution has yet to be reached. Codes Enforcement was invited to the meeting, but responded saying they were unable to attend.
At the meeting, Sheriff Darryl Forté handed out his personal cell phone number to residents, attempting to create a dialogue moving forward on this issue as well as others raised by residents, telling them to contact his department to share their concerns as issues come up.
“I think the first step was to have the public meeting,” said Jewell. The Blue Summit residents and the Jackson County Sheriff Department agreed to hold regular meetings in the near future.