‘A health hazard’: Cape Coral residents want overflowing dumpster out of their neighborhood

Writer: Camila Pereira
Published: Updated:

Cape Coral residents have had enough of the smell, the flies and the junk all piled up inside and outside of a dumpster along Northwest 38th Place.

It’s something both Mary and Will Brewer have grown tired of seeing every day, calling it an eyesore.

“It does smell,” Will said. “About a week ago, there were probably eight vultures sitting on it. I’ve heard scratches in there at night. I’ll take my dog out for a little walk, and you hear stuff scratching around in there.”

“It’s a health hazard,” his wife Mary chipped in.

This dumpster has sat right across from the Brewer’s home for what they say is more than a year. It’s gotten to the point where they’ve taken matters into their own hands.

“I actually went over there for the last garbage pickup, like we don’t have a lot of garbage, I had extra space,” said Will. “I probably could have gotten down to level for the last three months or more. I just, it shouldn’t be our responsibility.”

“Our neighbors are telling us to do something,” Mary said. “So, we finally did something.”

They reached out to the real estate agent, the builders, and the dumpster company – Southwest Waste Services. But they all had the same answer: this dumpster wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

So, Mary and Will went to the City of Cape Coral and reached out to the mayor and council members with the hopes of finding the answers they needed and a solution to this persistent problem.

“Early January, I contacted Keith Long, our councilman, and then ended up getting to his assistant,” said Will. “And she moved through several different people, to the executive assistant, to the mayor. And I sent her what I sent to Keith, including the pictures. And that’s when they told me that they had been in violation since November.”

The problem is that the violation didn’t have anything to do with the dumpster.

And it’s what forced the construction company to stop work immediately.

So now, Mary and Will are playing the waiting game.

“I’m hoping that the city will somehow get some action done on this,” Will said. “It shouldn’t be that tough to get a dumpster taken out.”

Dumpster after Southwest Waste Service claw truck arrived in the neighborhood to remove overflowing trash and container (Credit: Mary Brewer).

But, after WINK News reached out to Southwest Waste Service on Tuesday, they responded saying, “grapple service is scheduled to remove the overflowing debris as well as the debris on the ground Tuesday.”

And that a new container will be replaced soon.

Pictures sent by Mary to WINK News hours later show they’d only done half the job they promised so far.

Dumpster after Southwest Waste Service claw truck arrived in the neighborhood to remove overflowing trash and container (Credit: Mary Brewer).

But at around 6:25 p.m. on Tuesday, Mary circled back to let WINK News know the container has since been hauled away.

Southwest Waste Services then reached out to WINK News on Wednesday with the following statement:

“Southwest Waste became aware of an issue with an overflowing container via a Facebook post that was published over the weekend. It was sent to someone on our team at 9:40 AM on Monday March 18, and by 10:58 AM a member of our team was already at the site to get to the bottom of why this container and site had not been serviced.”

According to Southwest Waste Services, the construction company that was working on the property where the container sat was no longer in business which explained why no service had been requested and no trash had been picked up.

It also states their team had attended a city council meeting to speak on the issue and had received “positive feedback” from the Code of Compliance Manager, as well as spoke with Will and Mary about the whole situation.

“At Southwest Waste our core values include servant leadership, focus on customer service and satisfaction, and pride and ownership in cleanliness of our facilities, trucks, and equipment. We take pride in giving back to our community. We appreciate the opportunity to rectify the situation for the residents of Cape Coral.”

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