WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — According to WPD Policy 503, 72-hours-notice to vacate must be given to those in violation of the city’s no camping ordinance. After 72 hours have passed, the city can then start the clean-up process of picking up trash at homeless/abandoned camp sites.

But according to some, that policy hasn’t always been carried out in a timely manner, and that’s not by accident.

The WPD’s Homeless Outreach Team Founder Nate Schwietale says according to contractual agreements, the company tasked with removing the trash does not have to pick it up immediately after a 72-hour-notice expires.

“Just cause it’s 72 hours, the way the current process that we have is, could be a week, maybe two weeks before they get to it,” Schwietale says.

For some Wichita residents, the trash is nothing new. Becky Harmon says she and her husband have picked up trash at two camp sites near their home in the past three years.

“Got an old mattress out of there, and moving blankets that had been strung up in the trees, and just, well, twelve lawn and leaf bags full of litter and junk,” Harmon said.

Harmon says in December 2022, she called the Homeless Outreach Team about a nearby camp. She says it took days before the team even made it to the site.

“The contractor never came to the actual camp site … just what we drug, or dragged to the bike path,” Harmon said.

Weeks later, Harmon says she had to call about the exact same site again. While the second call resulted in what she considers a more expedited and thorough clean-up, she says she hopes for a more consistent process in the future.

“They may be short staffed, they may be very thinly spread, and they’ve got a huge issue that they’re dealing with,” Harmon said.

KSN News 3 reached out to Boulevard Construction (the company the city contracts out to pick up trash at homeless/abandoned camp sites) for comment. We have yet to hear back.