JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – Driving down Hickory Drive in Jackson’s Ward 5 is a real wakeup call that the area needs help.
“What happened here is we have two major thoroughfares that this road connects, and folks drive down this road. Easy dump and just keep going. Some of the residents have chosen to hoard. They actually bring waste into their yards. There are tire piles all up and down this road. This is easily one of the worst areas in Ward 5, if not the city,” said Councilman Vernon Hartley.
Despite the overwhelming sense of despair, there are snippets of what this tucked away neighborhood in the woods once was. Homeowners who refuse to let what surrounds them define them.
Brittney Horn is one of them. Her house and yard is immaculate. WJTV 12 News asked her she has become so used to what surrounds her that she just doesn’t see it anymore.
“I’m aware when I give people directions to my house, and if they come from Raymond Road and they’ll be like, ‘Why you stay over here? Oh, I thought I was looking at junkyards.’ And I’m like, ‘No. Those are properties.’ They just dump trash there,” said Horn.
Hartley said it comes down to basic knowledge.
“You can put it on the side of your curb. You don’t have to go down the street and dump it someplace. You can actually get rid of it at your curbside. So, we have to do a better job in informing people of their disposal options, and we have to enforce that,” said Hartley.
On Monday, Jackson Mayor Chokwe A. Lumumba announced the launching of a new campaign to fight the ongoing issue of trash in the capital city.
“I want to be clear. We are ready to deploy every resource we have towards this,” said Lumumba.
Those words are music to Hartley’s ears. With hopefully, more code enforcement officers in the mix coupled with educating the public, he believes it is possible to restore neighborhoods back to the vibrancy they once had.