NORTH ST. LOUIS COUNTY (KMOV.com) — “Disgusting” is a common word used to describe North Market, a street in North County that sits between Normandy High School and St. Peter’s Cemetery.
Despite a sign warning of a $500 fine for dumping piles of garbage litter, the area is known as a dumping ground.
Last month, police found a body there and they believe it was dumped after a drug overdose.
“It’s sad that you could miss a body. Because of all the trash,” Bill Baumgartner, Supt, at St. Peter’s Cemetery told News 4.
Baumgartner has worked at the cemetery since 1979. He said the dumping ground has been a problem for years.
“I hate it when people come over here to visit their graves over here. We try to keep our cemetery in good condition but when they look through the fence this is what they get to see,” he said, referring to the trash on the other side of the cemetery’s fence.
Baumgartner said the street was cleaned up after News 4 reported on the problem over two years ago.
But, he said it was only a quick fix and the trash swiftly piled back up.
“I don’t know how this continues. I mean this is amazing. They know it’s a problem yet nobody is here to prevent it,” Baumgartner said.
Not only is it a problem for the cemetery and nearby Normandy High School, but it’s also having an adverse effect on business in the area.
Landvatter Ready Mix sits at the end of North Market Street. The company’s vice president, Melissa Landvatter, told News 4 the road is preventing her from expanding her business.
“The condition of the road as well as the trash is really destroying our equipment, it’s costing us a lot of money. We could absolutely create more jobs, do more work, if we didn’t have this road to deal with,” Melissa Landvatter said. “There’s many days where the trash is so bad that we actually have to take our loaders and equipment to fill up with trash and dispose of that trash ourselves just to be able to drive down the road.”
Landvatter’s employees have similar complaints.
“Every day they dumping all the time. No one cares about this street and this neighborhood. And I think it’s a little ridiculous and someone needs to do something about it,” Jacqueline Jefferson, a driver for Vandvatter, said.
News 4 did some digging and discovered the dumping ground on North Market is owned by the city of Wellston.
Wellston City Administrator Jann Trigg told News 4 that the city knows the dumping ground is a problem and they are working to clean it up. She said they have three demolition companies that are going to help and six dumpsters have been volunteered.
She said they hope to start cleanup on June 7.
After that, the city will put in cameras and the North County Co-Op Police Chief John Buchanan told News 4 they are going to start increasing patrols.
News 4 will continue to share updates on the progress.
Bill Baumgartner Jersey Store
Wellston officials say more than 84,000 pounds of trash have been removed in recent weeks and believe it will take two weeks to clean up the remaining mess.