Illegal tire dumping gets Richmond's attention

Illegal tire dumping gets Richmond's attention
Source: NBC12
Source: NBC12

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The 12 On Your Side Investigators uncover yet another illegal tire pile in South Richmond.

Roughly one hundred tires were left behind a vacant house just off Hull Street. We made the city aware of this latest tire find.

Meanwhile, code enforcement is finally doing something about all those tires that have been piling up along Midlothian Turnpike in a different neighborhood. A contractor should start cleaning up the mess by the end of the week.

It's tough to solve and Richmond is attacking it in different ways: police and the community first, and when that doesn't work, they ramp up the cleanup phase by going after owners of the property where the tires were dumped.

We checked in with a few tire shops in the area near where numerous tire piles are popping up.  Shops we paid a visit to or talked with by phone condemn the actions of others. Mr. Lee, who owns a South Richmond tire business, says, "That's a bad guy. That's bad. Not a good idea."

Nobody knows who they are, but all say these individuals make them look bad when they dispose of their waste tires the legal way.

"When I have a full truck, I pay a recycle company. They come here and take the whole trailer. They come and pick up the tires," said Lee.

Tire shops and auto repair businesses typically charge customers a $4 disposal fee for each tire. Those businesses are then supposed to dump the tires at the city landfill, which allows four tires to be dumped for free - then it's $1 per tire after that.

It's seems many hire outside recycling companies for the chore.

Enriquez, who works at another tire business, says, "Tires that are no good, and only good for recycling, are taking them to a recycling business in Hopewell where they charge one dollar per tire."

Though no one has been held responsible, police say it's a priority and they are investigating.

"I take it very seriously, and the citizens that I have a good relationship with, I take it personally that someone is victimizing them," said Lt. Faith Flippo with the Richmond Police Department. "Someone doesn't care enough about the community that they feel they can just dump trash on their yard."

Lt. Flippo says the 5th District is working on a neighborhood cleanup though an exact date has not been set. Meantime, police are calling citizens to report what they see and perhaps someone can be caught in the act.

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