YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Hundreds of volunteers came together on Saturday to clean up Youngstown by picking up trash and dropping off old appliances. The organizers, on the other hand, focused on safely disposing old tires littering the city.
First Ward City Councilman Julius Oliver believes he knows who is dumping the tires in vacant lots and houses in his neighborhoods.
“Clearly came from a used tire shop. They hired someone and paid to dump them here.”
The people living in these neighorhoods are getting tired of the junk piling up.
“We go out here in these communities and in all these yards and you see piles and piles of tires,” said Keland Logan, a block watch member.
During Saturday’s city clean-up, volunteers gathered nearly 4,000 used tires that people dropped off. It costs the city about $2 per tire to recycle them.
While that only adds up to $8,000, Green Youngstown’s Jennifer Jones says leaving tires behind costs citizens a lot more than just money.
“The water collects in them when it rains, when they’re out in the elements. Mosquitoes make home in them and it’s a real health issue, and this year especially with Zika.”
To help combat this problem, Jones says the city spends $50,000 on disposal alone. The city also pays for a Mahoning County Sheriff’s Deputy to catch people littering neighborhoods with tires.
Oliver says that these clean-up events are not the only thing that will be done, especially to stop businesses from ripping off customers and polluting the city.
“We’re going to go start checking their records, seeing where they’re dumping their tires and who’s taking them away. Most people don’t know it’s a felony.”
Jones says they pick up over 2,000 tires each month.