Man believes illegally dumped tires in McMinn Co. belong to him - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Man believes illegally dumped tires in McMinn Co. belong to him

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A local man is coming forward to claim ownership of the tires leading to an eyesore in McMinn County.

Chris Mitchell thought the person he hired would dispose of them the right way. Now he's apologizing for the mess.

"People that I know are asking me if those are my tires, and unfortunately I believe they are," Mitchell said.

He helps run his family's used tire shop in Riceville. Just before the weekend, he had someone haul hundreds of bad tires from his shop.

"I saw the writings and the markings [on tires pictured in news media reports], and I can 99-percent guarantee some of the tires are mine," he said.

Last Thursday, Mitchell said he contracted with a man who offered to take his tires for cheap. By Monday, more than 500 tires were found dumped across the county -- on farm properties and on sides of roads. Crews were out for hours cleaning up the mess.

"Some less reputable tire dealers will illegally dump tires sometimes," said McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy.

Sheriff Guy said these kinds of illegal dumps typically occur after a hike in disposal fees. Recently the price jumped by five dollars per ton.

Mitchell said he wants to keep his shop's reputation clean, and will be working with the Sheriff to track down the man.

"Morally, I feel somewhat responsible for it, and I want to do whatever I can do to help make it right."

The Sheriff's office is investigating Mitchell's claim.

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