Midland's Biggest Clean-Up in History Changes Community

By: Sarah Snyder
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - It's one of the biggest clean-up project's in Midland's history. An area off of Interstate 20 changed hands from the county to the city, and in order to get them up to code, workers from the county, city, and Keep Midland Beautiful came together to tackle a massive clean up.

"Wow, there were sofas, washing machines, refrigerators and all of that in the back of the alley," Jose Ramos, who lives in Windowpane, said.

Jose Ramos, who lives in the area around Terrell and Longview, tells NewsWest 9 all the graffiti, sofas, appliances, and piles of trash have littered streets around his home since he moved in 12 years ago.

"The last three months they've been cleaning up really good around this area. I'm so happy," Ramos said.

So when the city acquired the land from the county back in November, workers began a massive clean up effort to get these streets up to code.

"Oh my gosh," Catarina Nova with Keep Midland Beautiful, said. "We found mattresses, we found appliances of all kinds. We even found a travel trailer they got rid of too."

The clean up crews said what they found in the 6-8 block radius was shocking: 300 tons of solid waste, 400 tires, and 250 junk cars.

"The numbers were pretty astounding after we looked at it," Morris Williams, Jr. with the City of Midland Solid Waste Department, said. "It was a good effort and I was proud of both entities coming together to make this thing work."

The Sheriff's department even sent over their inmate workers to help out.

"We took heavy equipment: dump trucks, bulldozers, and different things like that and we got after it," Williams said.

"Myself, I had two old cars right there and they asked me to move them or else I would get a $500 fine, so I did move them and it looks better," Ramos said. "It's not comfortable, but I like it. It looks clean. It looks better."

But the clean up isn't over yet. On April 10th, crews will once again hit the streets for the "Great American Clean Up." Keep Midland Beautiful tells NewsWest 9, they're hoping to find volunteers who can help make sure that neighbors like Jose have a clean and safe place to call home.

"Not only this area, but every other area in the city is in dire need of people picking up trash," Nova said.