CHICAGO (CBS) — Bottles, clothing and piles of trash littering both sides of Cicero Avenue.
CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot has been digging into this problem for nearly two weeks.
There’s been some improvement since CBS 2 contacted the Illinois Department of Transportation about 12 days ago but a few spots were missed. There’s a car floor mat, broken up boxes made of cardboard and all kinds of plastic.
Almost two weeks ago, CBS 2 found garbage surrounding the area where a man was waiting for the bus. It wasn’t just a tossed potato chip bag here or a plastic bottle there.
There were mounds of garbage everywhere on the east and west sides of an overpass on South Cicero Avenue between 67th and 71st Streets, not far from Midway Airport.
“It’s definitely something that you don’t want to be driving by. This is the airport, so I’m sure that a bunch of tourists, this is the first thing that they’re going to see,” said Nicaris Daniels-Porter, who works nearby. “It’s a little bit discouraging to see. I mean, it’s not a great look for the city.”
There were clothes, a diaper box and a hamper lid. Plastic bags were on the ground and even appeared to be in bloom, in trees. There was even a shopping cart dumped on the east side of Cicero.
When CBS 2 contacted IDOT on the 17th, the agency said it had just announced it was going to clean up all the expressways. It said crews would do cleanup on the 18th and possibly the next day too.
CBS 2 revisited the site. While there was some improvement on the east side of the overpass, the shopping cart was still there. On the west side, it looked like only half of the area had been cleaned up, with enough trash remaining to fill several dumpsters.
“I think that a lot of it just comes with laziness and it’s not because we don’t have trash cans. We have one right there, right next to me,” Daniels said.
IDOT said all the areas identified as state property were cleaned up. The agency said it is still trying to find out whether Bedford Park of the city of Chicago is responsible to determine the next steps for cleanup.
A major cleanup effort was planned for this past Saturday but it snowed.