Contractors and landscapers are using the State Trust Land parcel in Ahwatukee as a dumping ground.
The Foothills Reserve homeowners association and some private homeowners have reported the dumping to the state Land Department, but it’s unclear what’s being done about it.
Neighbors said that after one excavation company, Brock Excavation, dumped a load of concrete debris, other contractors and even landscapers have followed suit.
Galen Schliem, HOA board president of nearby Foothills Reserve, said he complained to the department on behalf of the community.
“We need these dumping activities to stop, Schleim told AFN. “There are so many volunteers in our community, that have worked countless hours to make it whole and beautiful again after the housing crisis and the construction of Loop 202, that it’s a bit depressing that we’re literally now next to a quasi-dump – one that every resident, living in seven different neighborhoods, must drive by in order to leave and return to their homes.
Schleim said he was told “an investigation would be opened and that the State will prosecute companies, or individuals, that participate in illegal dumping on State land. I was also informed that the State will often start cleanup activities, in a case such as this one. We shall see.”
Though he said the dumping is “brazenly being committed in broad daylight,” a spokesman for the Land Department said his agency “does not have law enforcement (certified peace officers) to investigate unlawful activities.”
“We rely solely on local law enforcement agencies and judicial jurisdictions to cite or prosecute suspected or known unlawful actions.”
The spokesman said the department’s Natural Resources Division “coordinates mitigation efforts based upon public, law enforcement and lessee tips and complaints regarding unlawful activities,” but added, “Sometimes issues are discovered quite late; and identifying a culpable party is virtually impossible.
“Once we receive a report of illegal dumping, ASLD conducts a site visit to assess the extent of the dumping and the scope of the cleanup necessary,” he added.
Dumping on state land is a Class 2 misdemeanor and carries a maximum $15,000 fine for every dumping incident an individual is convicted of – that is, if and when they get caught.