Over 1,000 piles of debris to be cleaned up this week
BATON ROUGE - Several crews are working 10-hour days to track down and clean up messes across East Baton Rouge Parish. Their mission? To make a dent in the blight problem.
Part of Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome's anti-blight campaign, "Operation Fresh Start" began Monday. Maintenance crews hit the streets of Baton Rouge with heavy equipment to remove piles of trash that have been stacking up for years.
84-year-old Betty Thomas has been watching the trash pile up on her street for months.
"I've been watching it and watching it," she told News 2. "I was worried that someone could pass, throw out a cigarette, and this it would blaze up."
One pile of debris is even being removed after sitting for two years.
Kyle Huffstickler, Director of Parish Maintenance, is in charge of the project.
"A lot clothes, a lot furniture, tree debris, but also tires," Huffstickler said. "To have this trash and debris brings wild animals, snakes, rats, then again... it just brings the neighborhood down."
He says citizens have been calling the city's special tip line to identify hundreds of locations where debris can be found.
A pile of trash on Central Road in Scottlandville is just one of 1,500 stacks throughout the parish that residents have reported.
"We're going to have five crews taking care of all this trash and debris," Huffstickler added. "Trying to get as much of this picked up this week as possible."
Once this week is over, the city will go back to its normal crew that handles debris.