It was out with the rest of Richard Fen's trash, an old tire...but it was left behind by the trash truck. He didn't know tires were no longer picked up. "No, I didn't. Nobody didn't tell us nothing, nothing," he said.
"We took tires out of our solid waste collections program and moved to monthly tire recycling events. It's not been as well received as we hoped," says Augusta Landfill director Mark Johnson.
So, with tires not being picked up, is illegal tire dumping picking up?
Marci Cannon is the Development Director for the Savannah Riverkeeper. The organization is about to lease 14 acres of city land on the Savannah River to turn into a recreational area. Tires have been dumped on this property in the past and that problem is continuing.
"We had a cleanup here a couple of months ago. Some of these tires are new, as you can see on top of the grass, so there are new tires that are currently being dumped down in this area," said Cannon.
A huge pile of tires on Glass Factory Avenue didn't happen overnight. Dumping was going on even when tires were a part of trash service, but with tires not a part of pickup, there's one less option to get rid of them.
"I got to take it to the landfill," said Fen, speaking of his tire. He says has no plans to dump it illegally. "No, I'm not going to dump it, cost too much to dump it," he said.
To keep tires from sitting on the street or ending up in a vacant lot, city crews are going out once a month and picking them up. But, after four months of no official tire pickup, Johnson says this way isn't working. "We're going to have to change something. Whether it's a different contract, whether it's a dedicated county resource, whether it's including it back, those are things we're currently looking at," said Johnson.
In the meantime, the next tire recycling event is November 16th at Carrie Mays Community Center.
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