YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Tire dumping, a continuing problem for Youngstown, happened again on the city’s east side.
This time, more than 250 tires were dumped on Edgar Avenue and one local reverend is not happy about it.
“I was just shocked and stunned when I realized the tires were discarded in one of the homes I consider a community treasure,” Rev. Lewis Macklin said.
He was taking a Sunday drive and happened to pass by the abandoned property, full of dumped tires.
It isn’t the first time this has happened. Last December, the city collected over 500 tires on Hawn Street. Then in May of this year, neighbors found a pile of over 100 tires on Rigby Street.
Tire piles often attract stray animals and cause unsightly overgrowth.
Jennifer Jones’ office picks up almost 1,500 tires a month. She’s with Green Youngstown, a division of the Public Works responsible for litter prevention and recycling within the city.
Aside from its environmental impact and health risk, Jones says tire piles are costing the city money.
“Between labor and disposal costs, upwards of $125,000, $150,000 a year.”
Green Youngstown helps people who call in to report tire pile locations on a first-come, first-served basis. Jones’ office averages about 700 complaints a year.
She wants people to know that dumping tires can be a felony.
“We can prosecute it as a felony, and go through the county courts and get much more. They could get jail time.”
Green Youngstown has plenty of ways to dispose of the tires. They just had their second tire collection of the year and will have the next recycling day in May.
While Macklin says a clean-up is necessary, a change of attitude in the community would be the best solution to this problem.
“The tires are not the ones to blame, they’re just doing what they do. This is a human thing, so we need to hold ourselves accountable,” he said.
He’s discouraged by the mess, and says the community needs to step up and take responsibility.
“A lot of people feel they can just dump and discard trash anywhere. That’s an attitude that can be corrected and changed.”
Jones says anyone who needs to get rid of tires should call Green Youngstown at 330-744-7526.