CBS46 uncovered new information Friday about one of the largest illegal tire dumps in metro Atlanta, located on state property.
The dumpers knocked down gates to the property, giving them access to dump countless tires on the land, and no one noticed it for years.
The state is now investigating.
To illustrate the scope of the problem, the CBS46 Drone flew over the massive tire dump in DeKalb County.
Angel Flores lives next to the eyesore and is furious that nothing has been done to clean it up.
“They should come and clean up that area. It’s too much, too much tires, and the people that are dumping there, shame on you too,” said Flores.
The property located on George Luther Drive is owned by the Georgia Department of Transportation. They vacated a maintenance facility on site 5 years ago, and that’s when the dumpers moved in.
“I don’t see how that could have even happened,” said resident Andrew James.
Not only did it happen, but it happened between a new senior housing community and soccer fields where kids play.
“We’ve been going through this for years,” said resident Joel Edwards. “Folks dumping tires here and there, but to see this many tires would mean somebody has been coming here on a regular basis.”
No one reported the problem until August of last year, giving the dumpers about four years to dump thousands of tires.
As soon as GDOT found out about the tire dump, they put up concrete barriers to keep people out. The Environmental Protection Division and Department of Natural Resources are actively investigating the case.
It will cost roughly $45,000 to properly dispose of the tires and the EPD hopes to do that within the next six months.
A spokesperson with DeKalb County released the following statement to CBS46:The county is in negotiations with the Georgia Department of Transportation to acquire the property to expand an existing park and, if successful, the county would be responsible for its clean-up and remediation. No citations have been issued for the property at 805 George Luther Drive.
Tire dumping is a serious blight and health problem that the county deals with through the Beautification Department. Tire dumping is difficult to prevent and costly and time consuming to remediate.
Illegally dumped tires create serious health and fire hazards and the county is committed to preventing illegal dumping in DeKalb. In addition to being an eyesore and creating blight, illegally dumped tires can increase vector-borne illnesses like Zika, West Nile, and dengue fever. Tires can also become an ignition source for environmentally harmful fires and cause air pollution.
Illegal dumping is a criminal offense. Any person who intentionally dumps litter including used tires faces misdemeanor charges. Repeated violators face felony charges, fines up to $25,000 for each violation and/or five years of prison. The county is asking residents to report illegal tire dumping by contacting the DeKalb County Police Department non-emergency number at (678) 406-7929. Copyright 2018 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.