Akron cracks down on illegal tire dumping with fines, jail time

Akron cracks down on illegal tire dumping with fines, jail time

AKRON, Ohio – Akron is working to reduce the amount of illegal tire dumping taking place throughout the city.

The city’s finance department estimates illegal tire dumping costs the city approximately $75,000 each year due to disposal costs, which range from $4.25 to $6 a tire. Additionally, Keep Akron Beautiful picked up more than 625 illegally dumped tires last year, which cost the nonprofit nearly $3,000, according to the city.

The city has a contract with Lightner Tire Company to recycle tires, but the company can only accept 200 tires per day. In 2022, the city collected 12,811 legal tires from residents for a total cost of approximately $54,450. Residents can place up to four tires per year on the curb for pick up. Residents can schedule a pick up by calling 3-1-1.

The Akron Fire Department, Akron Police Department, City Council, the City Prosecutor’s Office, Keep Akron Beautiful and the City’s Public Service Department are working together to alleviate this issue. There are an estimated 3,000 tires on abandoned lots, according to the city.

“We’ve known for quite some time that the issue of illegal dumping has become more prevalent,” Deputy Service Director Eufrancia Lash said in a news release. “It’s a complex problem due to the cost to recycle these tires as well as limited ability to get rid of large quantities at once. We’re bringing all our resources together to combat this problem across our city using creative solutions and the community’s help.”

The potential offenses range from first degree misdemeanors punishable by a mandatory fine of $500 (or the cost of the cleanup, whichever is greater) and up to six months in jail, to unclassified felonies punishable by a fine up to $25,000 and up to four years in prison, according to the city.

Here’s how residents can help:

  • If you see suspicious activity, such as someone unloading tires at an abandoned property, call the Akron Police non-emergency line at 330-375-2181. Residents can also submit an anonymous tip by downloading the Akron PD app powered by TIP411 for free from Apple or Android devices.
  • Call 3-1-1 or go online to akronohio.gov/311 to report dumping sites.
  • If you have tires you need to recycle, call 3-1-1 to schedule a bulk pick up.

The city has appointed a code compliance inspector to oversee the city’s work to alleviate the issue. The city will hold collected tires in a dumpster until recycling services are available at contracted facilities.

“Perception matters. If an area feels safe, it likely has a lower crime rate,” Keep Akron Beautiful CEO Jacqui Flaherty-Ricchiuti said in the release. “But what contributes to that sense of safety? Cleanliness seems to matter. Broken bottles, garbage and illegally dumped items such as tires, mattresses, and furniture, can all create a sense of jeopardy and a perception that people don’t care. Keep Akron Beautiful recently worked with the Akron Police Department to overlay our frequently littered areas map with the 2022 crime map. It is not surprising that the areas of high litter are the areas of high crime, which is why it is so important to take pride in our city.”

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