Blight remains after Memphis’ tire drop-off program

Blight remains after Memphis’ tire drop-off program

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - One day after thousands of tires were picked up off the street, tires can still be found all around the city.

Illegal dumping is a serious problem in the Mid-South, and city officials said it’s hard to get rid of the problem.

The city collected more than 50,000 tires, paying residents a dollar a tire to pick up the abandoned tires.

But one local activist said she's still finding tires all around the city and thinks it's time the City brings back the Tire Redemption Program on a permanent basis.

Community activist Patricia Rogers said people tossing tires on city and county roads is a real problem, especially in the Fox Meadows Neighborhood.

“You find this going on in a lot of places in Memphis,” Rogers said. “Dead ends, coves, but I've got another place to take you where people are going to be baffled.”

Less than a mile away, WMC5 found dozens of tires neatly lined up, all in a row near Winchester and Mendenhall.

Rogers shared emails she's sent to the city asking when they could clean it up. Weeks later, it hasn't been addressed.

“They're going to have to come up with something that is ongoing to keep people picking up tires because it's going to be a problem,” Rogers said.

City officials say are considering bringing back the Tire Redemption program in the future.

In the meantime, when you see abandoned tires call 311.

“If they can document that someone is abusing illegal dumping on a property than we can prosecute them,” said Robert Knecht with City of Memphis.

A city spokesperson said the city removes tens of thousands of tires.

The primary culprits are commercial businesses looking to reduce their overhead costs by not paying disposal fees, leaving an eyesore for residents.

The city and county will dispose of four tires a week. The city will pick it up curbside, and the county will need to drop it off at Liberty Tire at 3000 Elvis Presley Boulevard.

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