Tires dumped in unwanted places after redemption program ends

By Kontji Anthony - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Tires are once again piling up in unwanted places, just one week after a joint city/county tire redemption program ended.

Business owner Greg Davenport received a heap of tires for Christmas.  Monday, he returned from vacation to find tons of tires on his Bodley Street property.

"Three, maybe four tons of tires there," he said.

Across town, homeowner James Brown said Memphis and Shelby County need to do something after someone dumped tires at the end of his street.

Both men blame the city-county tire redemption program, which ended abruptly after the $100,000 dollar grant that funded it ran out.

"I had heard on the news they stopped that program," Brown said. "So that afternoon, I see the tires all on the street."

Davenport agreed with Brown's assessment.

"These people picked these tires up to make an honest day's pay, and all of a sudden the door shut on them, and it's going to cost them money to get rid of these tires," Davenport said. "Sure, they're going to dump them off anywhere they can."

Davenport said he has already called both mayors' offices.

"I just kept getting put off and put off, and finally the last lady I talked to said if it's on your property, it's your responsibility," he said.
Not only was Davenport concerned about having to foot the bill to transport and get the tires recycled, he worried rats, snakes and mice would find a new home right in his front yard.

"It's going to cost me $100 a ton to get rid of these tires, and I don't think I should be responsible," he said.

Though the tire redemption program's road was paved with good intentions, the men both believe the city and county need to pony up.

Late Monday afternoon, officials said the tire redemption program may resume as early as Tuesday.  Brown and Davenport hope that encourages whoever dumped the tires to come and get what they left behind and get paid for their work.

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