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SWACO installs measures to deter illegal tire dumping
The Solid Waste Authority of Central Ohio (SWACO) has taken steps to deter the illegal dumping of tires throughout Franklin County.
On Feb. 7, the SWACO trustees authorized a contract with Franklin County Public Health to create an education and inspection program for the amount of $48,000.
According to SWACO Trustee Timothy Guyton, the money will allow two part-time inspectors to work with agents from the Environmental Crimes Task Force of Central Ohio (ECTFCO).
There are more than 500 used tire facilities in the county. The ECTFCO will begin to better educate these small businesses, along with franchises like Firestone and Sears Tire Center, on proper methods to track and dispose of old tires as well as the consequences of illegally dumping tires.
According to John Remy, spokesperson for SWACO, investigations performed by the ECTFCO and Sheriff’s Office lead to prosecution of environmental crimes.
Remy said these prosecutions, depending on the level of crime, have led to jail time, steep fines and community service. The culprits are usually also responsible for cleaning up their messes.
SWACO officials feel this proactive approach will deter the amount of illegal tires communities are finding in their alleys and streets.
Remy said they do not want residents taking the law into their own hands. If the dumping is a big enough problem, the ECTFCO will install hidden cameras and take other measures to catch those responsible.
If a resident witnesses or wishes to report an illegal dumping they can call the 24-hour tip line at 871-5322 and the ECTFCO will follow-up.
Tires plague Westgate area
The Westgate neighborhood is one of the communities within Franklin County that has suffered due to illegal dumping.
Old tires have been found in alleys, parking lots, streets and parks.
“The neighborhood is being used as a trash can. It’s insulting,” said Mari Ann Binder Futty, president of the Westgate Neighborhood Association.
The residents who walk the sidewalks say they find the dumping calculated, rude and feel it is an invasion of their privacy.
“Those are streets people need for their cars. The way they’re dropped there, it shows no regard,” Futty said.
The illegal dumping reminds Futty of graffiti, in the way one is punished twice; first for having been made a victim and secondly with the cost to remove it.
Some residents have paid the cost for the disposal of one or a few tires, a cost they pay begrudgingly to keep their community looking nice.
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