Wednesday, January 24, 2018

WOPC Investigates Perry County's Tire Disposal Problem

UPDATE: Since WOPC HD News made the first call to Liberty Tire over 28 tons of discarded tires have been hauled out of Perry County. Liberty Tire says as of February 9, more loads are scheduled.
  LINDEN, TN- For months the pile of discarded tires has grown at the Perry County transfer station, with no plan in sight. This week, several listeners approached WOPC news asking why.

Wednesday, we decided to look into the matter. Upon arriving to the transfer station, we saw a dumpster that said "No Tires."  Our crew found an employee and asked her where do we drop off old tires. She told a WOPC HD News staff member to "take them back home, because they were not taking any more tires." That same statement has been delivered to taxpayers for months now, they say.

The attendant noted they were 'full and that the company that is supposed to come get them had not been coming and getting them'. According to that employee the station had a loaded trailer and several loads of tires on the ground. We photographed those tires.

Our next stop was at the Perry County Courthouse to see the County Mayor. Mayor Terry Richardson told us that he was aware of the problem and that a company from Mississippi was supposed to be coming to get them and hadn't come for months.

So we contacted the company at issue: Liberty Tire Recycle.

After speaking with a representative of the company, Liberty Tire claimed they had not be contacted by the Perry County Transfer Station since July, 2017.

We also found out that in July, 2017, that the company was scheduled to make two pickups in Perry County and that on one of those trips the trailer that the company provides was not loaded when they arrived.  That caused the tax payers to have to pay a freight charge, but they got nothing for their money.

The Liberty Tire representative said that they normally come within 2 days of a pick up order being placed and they 'should be able to pick up Linden's tires by Friday'.

We took our findings back to the County Mayor, he said he would 'place a call today'. In a follow-up conversation with Liberty Tire Wednesday afternoon, the company confirmed that a new pickup had been scheduled.

So what's the big deal? Neighbors and tire industry owners we spoke with were concerned that discarded tires could end up being dumped illegally on private property and in local waterways. After months of no tire service, businesses and taxpayers were struggling with the proper way to dispose of the waste: a problem that can hold serious environmental consequences.

In Tennessee, when a person buys a new tire, there is a fee pre-disposal fee of $1.35 that is to help with the cost of the Waste Tire Program. For every new tire sold the county receives $1.00.

WOPC-HD News & The TennesseNewsNet will continue to keep you updated on the progress of this story.