New project aims to end illegal tire dumping in Shreveport
SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — In an effort to stop illegal dumping, Shreveport’s Department of Property Standards is partnering with Shreveport Green to establish a Waste Tire Cleanup Pilot Program.
“We want to send a clear message that there are consequences for illegal dumping in our community,” said Mayor Adrian Perkins.
The Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality will provide $42,000 to start the project, The Times of Shreveport reported.
“The mission of the program is to put the spotlight on illegal dumping, also known as “midnight” dumping, a term used to describe disposing of waste tires in unauthorized areas,” said Mortimer Harris, deputy director of Property Standards.
“Another facet of the program is to reduce the threat of mosquito-borne diseases, by removing waste tires from public and abandoned properties and to educate the public about handling and disposing of waste tires.”
A team will be developed to conduct community outreach and distribute a survey that will be used to create educational materials for residents.
An assessment will be conducted to determine the number of tire shops in Shreveport. Businesses will be given information cards that outline proper tire disposal, city ordinances and policies relating to proper tire disposal. The card will also include facts on the dangers illegal tire dumping can cause to the environment and people.
“Tires are good for vehicles, but they are terrible when dumped in neighborhoods,” said Casaundra Calloway, Shreveport Green’s Neighborhood & Education program director. “Over time, dumped tires can leak toxic chemicals and metals into the ground, waterways and the air. Rainwater collected inside the tires promotes disease-carrying mosquitos and residents shouldn’t have to look at ugly piles of tires on vacant properties.”
Data will be compiled based on citizen complaints to determine the areas to focus the department’s tire collection efforts. Motion cameras also will be purchased to monitor the tire dumpsites.
In a sweep of one area earlier this week, Harris said crews picked up 247 tires that had been dumped.
“This is just to put a spotlight on the problem,” Harris said of the program. “We’ve got to educate the citizens to help end the problem. Most of the illegal dumping is coming from mom-and-pop shops that have paid someone to haul tires off and then they’re illegally dumped.”
Harris said those caught dumping illegally will face unspecified criminal consequences.