LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Today, 1,900 tires were moved from a rental property in Lufkin.
The tires were illegally dumped there in December of last year without permission from the property owners, who were told they would have to pay for the cleanup themselves.
Fortunately, with some financial assistance, the owners are finally getting help with moving the tires.
When Sylvia Forsythe discovered that someone had been illegally dumping tires on her rental property in Lufkin, she wanted to notify law enforcement officials as quickly as possible.
“I called the sheriff’s department and told them we did not give no authority for anybody to dump tires on our property,” Forsythe said.
After contacting the EPA and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, Forsythe was told she would be responsible for having the tires removed. Fortunately, Ken Awtrey from Pineywoods Resource Conservation and Development was able to acquire a grant for Forsythe to get the tires moved.
“The money came from an enforcement action of TCEQ, Texas commission on environmental quality. They had some money that was available statewide, so we were able to access some of that money,” Awtrey said.
Awtrey said that due to Forsythe’s level of income and because she didn’t dump the tires, they were able to get the grant to clean up the tires for her.
“I was very delighted to hear that because I dreaded trying to get those cleaned up,” Forsythe said.
According to Awtrey, Illegal tire dumping is quite common and happens all over East Texas.
“Where you see excessive tires like this, somebody got paid to take them off, and they didn’t dispose of them properly,” Awtrey said.
The cleanup crew also noted how common these dumps are, saying tire shop owners are trying to save money on the disposal of old tires by giving them to someone who will charge less than certified tire movers.
“If tire shops didn’t pay people that weren’t certified by the TCEQ, permitted rather, as a tire transporter,” Tim Simmers said. “I don’t think these things would happen.
Summers, who is in charge of the cleanup process, said that the tires will be transported to a permitted facility in Texas.