Tons of garbage dump in Houston church removed after members force authorities to take action

garbage dump (Photo by Jasmin Sessler on Unsplash)

Jesus Tabernacle Church's members recently complained about the garbage pile in front of their church. The religious establishment is located in Houston's Fifth Ward. 

The church is at the corner of Newhoff and Arkansas streets. New visitors and long-time attendees said that they always smell the growing trash pile. But, the local government allegedly ignored their requests to clean it. 

Jesus Tabernacle Church members complain about 'bad smell'

According to its members, the garbage debris can be found at the front part of their sanctuary entrance. 

The church members said they already contacted the authorities since they can't stand the appearance and smell of the garbage pile. 

"This is what we see [garbage] when we come every Sunday, you know?" said Executive Pastor Oric Lagrone via ABC 13's latest report. "When we come during the week to do service in the community, this is what we see."

The church leader and other members confirmed that they ask the city's authorities to regularly clean the trash pile. They also reportedly coordinated with some news companies to allow more people to know the issue. 

However, Jesus Tabernacle Church's attendees complained that the Houston City government wouldn't address the issue for ten years. 

Meanwhile, members said the latest garbage issue had been there for around a few months now. 

"I don't want it looking like this. This is a church. We come, and we serve God. We lift up the name of Jesus, so to me, I feel like this is a hazard," Rosie Thompson, one of the church members. 

In the investigation of ABC 13, the authorities already tagged the case as solved in its documents. 

They allegedly did this even though no actions to remove the garbage were conducted. 

Houston City government suffers from staff shortages 

Upon receiving media criticism, the Houston City government finally decided to clean up the mess. Authorities explained that the cleaning and clearing took this long since they are short in staff. 

They added that around 37 positions were opened with a $3,000 signing bonus. 

Aside from this, they also explained that they are removing garbage debris whenever they can. 

The Houston City government even added that people should be more specific with their concerns when contacting their 311 system. This means that complainers must confirm the type of trash they are dealing with. 

They also reminded residents to clarify when and how some individuals are dumping their garbage. 

Carolyn Wright, the city's solid waste management division director, explained the issue. 

She said that they are currently experiencing staffing shortages. The authority added that they need to disclose as much information as they can. These include the plate number, where the dumpers are coming from, and other important information. 

Negative effects of garbage piles 

Most people already know the negative effects of garbage piles and other trash types. EEA Europa reported that improper disposal of garbage could lead to soil, water, and air contaminants. 

Experts explained that people need to create landfills if garbage debris is piling up rapidly in their areas. However, they explained that this should only be considered as a last resort. 

They added that people must still try to recycle or reuse their unwanted belongings as much as possible. On the other hand, they also reminded LGUs or local government units to be responsible for collecting residents' trash. 

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