COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Hilltop community activist Lisa Boggs believes trash is the number one thing holding the Columbus west side community back.

“The trash gives off a vibe that entices the criminals to come here and do whatever they want,” Boggs says. “They feel like no one cares – and we do care.”

Boggs, a longtime Hilltop resident and part of the South Central Hilltop Block Watch, says part of the problem is landlords piling up tenant belongings after an eviction. She says landlords and home rehabbers should be forced to pay for a dumpster and private removal in a timely fashion.

State representative Kristin Boggs (no relation)is working on legislation to try to address the problem.

“We’re trying to balance the tenant’s right to their property, the landlord’s right to pursue an eviction process and the community’s rights to not have their streets littered with abandoned property by someone who’s experienced an eviction,” Rep. Boggs said.

Lisa Boggs says Columbus city refuse crews do a good job responding to calls of problems but she believes the area needs two pickups per week – not one.

Some of the problem though is just residents not caring enough to change their own behavior and to demand more from their neighbors. “We’re better than this – we are better than this,” Boggs said.

Some residents have voiced concern about their potential health impact of the piles of garbage and trash.

Boggs says there needs to be accountability. “We need laws, we need enforcement, we need action.”