KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A longtime problem plaguing a Kansas City neighborhood seems to be getting worse. Mounds of illegally-dumped tires keep piling higher and higher.
In 2012, volunteers from the Pendleton Heights neighborhood picked up well over 400 old tires, but that’s just the beginning.
One popular dumping spot is a ravine along Chestnut Avenue. Illegal dumpers have even bent over a sign post while maneuvering their trucks back.
“This is probably somebody who’s a waste hauler. He takes the money from the tire company and then rather than haul them on to a waste recycling (center), paying the fees and the fuel, just come dump them here,” said Larry Becker, who has led the Pendleton Heights clean-up efforts.
Becker and his volunteers have cleaned out hundreds of tires from several different spots in the past year, but there are easily hundreds more to go.
“And then they’ll just find another spot to dump,” Becker joked.
“Tires tend to breed tires,” said Pendleton Heights Neighborhood Association president Jessica Ray. “So the rule of thumb is when you see one, pick it up because otherwise there will be two and then four and then 12.”
Ray said that approach got old tires off of the streets and alleys in Pendleton Heights, but now those tires have spread to the parks and woods where they’re being dumped in much larger loads.
“If there were more surveillance in locations like this where people dump, it could definitely help prevent the problem,” Ray said.
She said the difficult part has been getting Kansas City Parks and Recreation and Public Works to agree on which department should pay for surveillance.
A Public Works spokesman could not comment on this specific situation, but said the department has cameras it moves to and from trouble spots as needed.
Ray and Becker believe Kansas City’s tire drop-off fee is the biggest cause for the illegal dumping. It costs anywhere from $1.50 to $17 per tire.
Pendleton Heights’ first major clean-up of the season is scheduled for March. Click here for more information to get involved.
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