Dumping on the rise in ABQ arroyos

ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) – A car and $5.25 is all you need to get rid of an old TV the right way at a city transfer station. But as Jeff Willis with AMAFCA, the group that oversees Albuquerque arroyos and dams, can attest, a lot of people are doing it the wrong way.

Willis says his crews have had to haul two to three times more TV’s than usual out of flood channels this monsoon season. It’s a nasty time consuming mess.

“The TV’s we need to get out as soon as possible just because of the components and the glass issues,” Willis said. “We don’t need that in the bottom of the channels.”

It’s not just TV trash that’s spiking.

“We’ve taken within one or two days 30 to 35 grocery carts out of the channel,” Willis said. “We really haven’t seen that many in the past.”

Willis blames the increase in shopping cart litter on a boom in homeless camping under bridges around arroyos. News 13 spotted five shopping carts outside the arroyo near AMAFCA’s headquarters off of Menaul west of Carlisle.

Getting the carts out is a huge inconvenience for workers who’ve been busy enough this monsoon season.

“You can see how steep the channels are,” Willis said. “They’re very hard to get out and it’s time consuming for our maintenance workers when they need to be out maintaining our facilities, not pulling trash out of the bottom of them.”

Of course, it’s not just inconvenient trash that gets chucked into the arroyos.

AMAFCA crews once found a wedding dress.

“That was a head-scratcher,” Willis said. “The men and women couldn’t come up with how it got there or why.”

AMAFCA has only a dozen maintenance workers to keep near 70 miles of channels and 35 dams clear of debris.

 

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