City of Cleveland cracking down illegal tire dumping - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

City of Cleveland cracking down illegal tire dumping

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CLEVELAND, TN (WRCB) -

Used tires are flooding the city of Cleveland, and city officials are looking for who's responsible. 

The Cleveland Codes Enforcement Office and Cleveland Police Department are partnering to fight illegal tire dumping, which is a fire hazard and cause a mosquito infestation. 

Code Enforcement officers have found piles of tires, with around 400 in each pile. Joel Prince, a supervisor for the Codes Enforcement Department, said the main target areas are vacant home's yards, back alleys, and side streets. 

"We don't know if it's just at one time if these individuals are coming out or if they're just doing it over a period of time," said Prince. "We've been monitoring it for quite a while. However, I guess in the past year we've seen more of an increase and we don't know exactly what that's attributed to."

Prince said three surveillance cameras have set up at three recent targeted areas. Prince said the locations are not being released to the public in effort to identify illegal dumpers. 

But as the piles grow, safety concerns grow as well. 

"You get the mosquito infestation that comes in. Vermin and rats can build nests in it, and it's serious risk for fire hazards," said Prince. 

Freddie Brown, the owner of Capital Tire Service, tells Channel 3 he understands there's a problem and that something needs to be done. 

"It's an eyesore and it would benefit us all if they were disposed of in the proper manner," said Bryson. "I did have a customer call me one day and said some were dumped on his street beside his house, and it was just right over here in the city limits."

Bryson said on average, Capital Tire Service, collects up to 400 used tires a month, and they are supposed to be dumped at one of the city's landfills. He explained that all tire shops are required to pay for tire disposal themselves.

"I have someone that I have hired to dispose of my tires, and I had him sign paperwork that says that he is actually disposing of the tires in the proper way," said Bryson. 

At Santek Waste Services, it costs $1.25 per tire when it comes to disposal. The company's Executive Vice President of Marketing, Cheryl Dunson, said once the tires are dropped off at the landfill they are separated from the general waste trailer and recycled. 

Those illegally dumping tires can be charged with criminal littering (Tennessee Code Annotated 39-14-5), and face heavy fines and possible jail time. Prince said that he has spoken with the Cleveland city attorney about strengthening that to include an ordinance within the city with charges that can be levied against anyone caught dumping these tires. He said he plans to present the ordinance at a public hearing in the near future. 

If anyone has any information on who may be responsible or witness any trucks carrying tires, contact the Codes Enforcement Office at 423-473-3201 or the Cleveland Police Department at 423-476-7511.

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