CLEANUP EFFORT:

 A volunteer uses a pitchfork to pull loose litter into piles Thursday during a cleanup effort in desert area near Home Depot.

BULLHEAD CITY — A group of mostly volunteers participated in a cleanup effort of deserts between Community Park and Home Depot.

The unsightly mix of litter was removed Thursday by about 40 people willing to work hard to make the area look better and be safer for people and wildlife to roam. 

Many of the volunteers also help local homeless. Some of them were quick to note that illegal dumping is an increasing local problem. Campers — often area homeless people — as well as residents and passersby illegally dump items that could be picked up by Republic Services or taken to the dump. 

“A microwave oven and hot water heater weren’t left by the homeless,” said Rene Bultaris, one of the volunteers.

Joanie Wright, another volunteer, pointed to an old tire sitting in the middle of a trash-filled front loader scoop.

“That’s a non-homeless item,” Wright said as she looked toward the front loader as it rolled toward a large receptacle.

Both women are also volunteers with groups that assist local homeless people. The city’s Homeless Task Force organized the cleanup and quite a few of its members were there removing litter. 

Other groups with members helping with the cleanup included Catholic Charities, Church Without Walls, Mohave County Environmental Rural Clean-up Enforcement, Mohave County Probation and Bullhead City staff.

Republic Services also donated two 40-feet, roll-off receptacles as well as a trash truck and driver, said Jeff Tipton, the city’s Human Services Director.

ERACE also paid the landfill fees to remove the trash. Bullhead City employees were operating Cat equipment.

Tipton and other city officials have also stressed that just one segment of the population isn’t solely responsible for the desert messes.

Further, Tipton said, a pre-cleanup review made it clear that efforts needed to be concentrated closer to Home Depot because of the highest volume of litter and dumping has gone on set back from Highway 95 near an old airstrip.

Call the Bullhead Police Department’s business line, (928) 763-1999, to report illegal dumping within city limits. 

Mohave County residents can call ERACE at 715-0480. 

(3) comments

Desert Bat

I'm sure this is unthinkable in the rocket science capital of the world, but a couple portable restrooms and dumpsters would alleviate problems associated with homeless camps, although it would also acknowledge that there are actually people who for soe reason or another, cannot afford a plce to live after their lives have been destroyed somehow. Let others do the math here. Math, not meth.

questforfive

I've been following the situation throughout many media sources and I have to ask this question, where do the homeless get the money to purchase all of these items, tents and so forth... and so I have to wonder, are they just being scavengers for people that are leaving this debris behind such as tourist

Spitfire

Many homeless have no income. Others get a VA income for a disability or they are on SSDI. The $700 a month or so does not go far and they can't even doe a monthly hotel for that amount of money so they camp, use showers occasionally at Salvation Army and show up to Community Park for a meal. Most have mental health issues or their mental health becomes an issue as living on the streets can create a lot of paranoia over time. Last, there is drug use which also adds to the homeless problem and mental health issues.

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