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Trash piling up behind Lafayette apartments causes problems for residents

Posted: 10:45 PM, Sep 04, 2018
Updated: 2018-09-04 23:58:50-04

It’s storm season, and drainage is at the top of everyone’s minds, but what some people don’t think about is how littering affects those drains.

A viewer sent KATC a video of trash piling up behind Willow Park Apartments in Lafayette.

“This is our drainage system, someone needs to do something about this,” the man in the video says about the trash covering the coulee behind the complex.

Now, KATC is getting answers about what the city is doing to clean the mess.

Public Works’ Environmental Quality Department says they didn’t know about the problem until KATC called it in. What’s more, they’re not sure who owns the property.

Still, the department says they’re looking into getting the coulee cleaned.

“One little piece of litter that one person might not think is a big deal, it accumulates with every other piece of litter that’s out there and ends up affecting our waterways,” said LCG’s Environmental Quality manager, Bess Foret.

From plastic cups to larger items like bikes and appliances, the trash is piling up behind the complex.

It is a problem that apartment residents say has been growing for years.

Foret said it’s just a small example of a larger issue in Lafayette.

“We do have issues of people throwing out cigarette butts, cups out of their cars like little single things that they don’t think about, but then there’s also the whole side where people will dump large items that maybe they’re cleaning something out. They get rid of mattresses, old furniture just junk,” she said.

If you live in the City of Lafayette or Unincorporated Lafayette and have curbside pick-up, you can coordinate once a month trash pick-up for larger items, by calling Public Works.

Although the roughly 6-foot tall green fence keeps the trash out of the complex, residents say it doesn’t keep pests like rats and raccoons from bothering them.

And now, Foret warns people to think before they throw.

“If someone puts something into a parking lot and they throw their cup down, it ends up traveling during a rainstorm like we’ve been seeing a lot of, down the storm drain and it just goes from ditch to coulee to larger bodies of water,” said Foret.

If there is an accumulation of trash near your house that needs to be picked up, call LCG’s Environmental Quality Department at (337) 291- 8529.