Residents in Detroit's North End neighborhood on Wednesday caught a Sterling Heights carpet cleaning company dumping waste in their neighborhood. Naturally, the residents aren't thrilled.
Jerry Hebron tells Metro Times
she witnessed a man from Mystic Touch Carpet Cleaning
dumping liquid on a street that borders an urban farm she runs.
Hebron tells us she watched the man's white van turn onto Cameron Street and stop. The man got out and started dumping a liquid on the street's edge.
Hebron approached and confronted the man, and says she immediately noticed the odor of sewage.
"When I asked him about it he said he just got done cleaning a house on Westminster and he was just dumping out whatever liquid he had. He said it's not a big deal because it's not sewage," Hebron says. "We said 'This is what you do? You go cleanup somewhere and dump waste in the city? Isn't there somewhere you're supposed to take this and dump it? Or take it out where you live and dump it.'"
Hebron says the man at that point got upset and left, so she called the number on his van, again telling him, "You dumped some contaminated liquids on the side of the road where we grow food."
"He said, 'Yeah I did.' I asked if he was OK with that and he said, 'I haven't broken any laws,'" Hebron tells Metro Times
. "He then said 'Who cares? This area is a dump anyway.'"
called Mystic Touch on Thursday and the man who answered tells us that he did dump the liquids, but called the situation a "big misunderstanding."
The man, who wouldn't identify himself, explained his rationale. He says he cleans carpets in Detroit and the chemicals and dirty water of which he needs to dispose after jobs isn't toxic or sewage. He says he had just completed a job and needed to unload waste before starting the next.
"I tried going to the most run down neighborhood I could find," he tells us. "It just so happens they were worried about the neighborhood. But everything was pet and baby safe — it's nothing harmful ... it's just like washing your car."
When asked if he dumps waste in other cities, the man said he was told it's only illegal to dump carpet cleaning waste in West Bloomfield and Troy. When pressed about whether dumps waste in other cities, he dodged the question, though he acknowledged that there are proper facilities at which waste should be dumped.
The Detroit Police Department announced late last year
that it's cracking down on people who illegally dump in the city, which is a common problem. Hebron says she called the police and filed a report.
Hebron says the man hasn't heard the last of the North End.
"We're going to show you how much of a dump this is. We're not done with this yet. We care about this neighborhood," she says. "This has to stop. We have to call it out and bring attention to it at that community level. The city has their hands full, so we need to bring attention to it."
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