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ABC-7 LISTENS: Who cleans up trash from vacant lots in El Paso?

ABC-7 Listens: Who cleans vacant lots...

EL PASO, Texas - It is not uncommon to drive around the city and see empty properties littered with trash.

ABC-7 spotted one area in far east El Paso that looks like it is getting ready for development, but from time to time trash piles up.

Photos taken in late May show plastic bags, wrappers and bottles thrown thoughout the land, some of it spilling onto the sidewalk.

The land is located near the corner of Zaragoza and Tierra Este in far east El Paso and owned by River Oaks Properties.

The City of El Paso Code Compliance Department was contacted to find out who is responsible for cleaning up litter at any private property.

Ginny Castaneda, a supervisor for Code Compliance, told ABC-7 property owners are solely responsible for the cleanup and maintenance of any land.

Castaneda said if the trash is not taken care of, city crews will clean up the area at a price.

"It's not a complimentary or free service."

The fee that a property owner would have to pay depends on the the size of the land, the amount of trash and the manpower it takes to clean up.

Residents can report any land or property that is littered by calling 311, then owners will be notified about the complaint.

ABC-7 returned to the location a couple weeks after the photos were taken and crews could be seen putting up new fencing and working on the land.

One worker told an ABC-7 photographer they put up temporary fencing so that trash doesn't spread into neighboring property, including a school.

Castaneda said that property had received any previous complaints about the trash, but added there may be some reasons behind the litter.

"That property is actually being graded because they are going to build something, so all the piles of dirt and wind-blown trash, we get that as the grading process continues," Castaneda said.

The temporary fence also serves as a divider for the neighboring property owned by the Socorro Independent School District where Lujan Chavez Elementary and Sun Ridge Middle schools are located.

A district spokesman said the school should be contacted if residents spot trash piling up on the school property.

To report trash on private property within the city limits, call 311.

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