Meigs County deals with illegal dumping problem - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Meigs County deals with illegal dumping problem

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MEIGS COUNTY, TN. (WRCB)  --  Meigs County officials say they've had enough of illegal tire dumping and now the mayor is taking action.

"Aggravated, mad, disgusted," says one resident. Those words only begin to describe the feelings after seeing a beautiful countryside become someone else's dumping ground.

"I'm tired of living in this. This is getting ridiculous, its got to stop," says Litter Enforcement Officer Michael Long.  

Two months ago Long became took over as the litter enforcement officer. In that time he says he's picked up more than 600 tires from county roads, rivers, creeks and fields. There's really no place off limits to dumping.

"Its a never ending battle we're constantly going to have to fight until something is done about it," says Long.  

"Anywhere, everywhere, just pull up there, dump them and go," explains Mayor Garland Lankford. "Its a sinful act. Besides being an illegal act it's a sinful act."  

Lankford wants steeper penalties for the tire dumpers. Instead of the current fine, which is just a couple dollars per tire, Lankford wants to fine $50 per tire on top of a flat $1,000 for littering.

He says the only people recycling tires now are the road crews and it all comes down to money. "He could bring them out yonder and pay the $2 to us and we'll take them and get rid of them," Lankford says.  

However, a $2 fee per tire to dispose of them can add up especially if you're trying to get rid of a hundred tires.

"It is certain companies trying to beat the overall cost to dispose of them properly," says Long. 

"For a little financial gain, my goodness, why destroy the beauty of these rolling hills and beautiful Tennessee River out here," says Lankford.

The Meigs County Commission is set to vote on Mayor Lankford's recommendations Thursday night. If it passes, then it will head to court. However, Lankford says this could wind up in Federal Court since some of the dumping is along the Tennessee River, which is under federal regulation.

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