November 26, 2014

Intermittent clouds

Illegal tire dumping plagues Lorain County

Councilman Dennis Flores took this photo of tire dumping in Lorain. PHOTO PROVIDED

Councilman Dennis Flores took this photo of tire dumping in Lorain. PHOTO PROVIDED

It was almost three years ago that officers from the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office opened the door of an abandoned house in Lorain and were faced with a pile of 3,500 tires.

Two years later, Jose Martinez was found guilty of breaking and entering and illegal dumping for the crime, but the Martinez case is only the tip of the iceberg in a problem that’s been plaguing Lorain County for years.

Since 2009, Lorain County Sheriff’s Deputy Bill Curtis of the Environmental Crimes Unit has been working to reduce the number of tires that are being illegally dumped around the county. People will bring their used tires to a repair shop or used tire store and pay the store a few dollars to take the tires off their hands, Curtis said. Some of the stores then pay another person a smaller sum to get rid of those tires and pocket the profit. That person, often a drug addict trying to make a little money, illegally dumps the tires in a field, abandoned house or alley, Curtis said.

There is a network in place for tire stores to legally dispose of their tires by sending them to be recycled and reused, according to Ohio Environmental Protection Agency spokeswoman Linda Oros.

When some tire stores take the easier, illegal route, it creates an eyesore for the community, one that the city often has to pay to clean up, Curtis said.

“It blights the whole neighborhood,” Curtis said, adding that when tires are dumped, they create image of a dirty or unsafe neighborhood. “It attracts the problem people.”

Curtis also blames the illegal dumping for creating a financial burden on the city and residents.

“It’s tough on the economy. If you own a business and you have to pay to have your dumpster dumped, how long can you stay in the business?” Curtis said, addressing the problem that many business owners are coming across where someone throws tires in their garbage bins.

In recent years, Curtis has been able to cut back on the amount of illegal tire dumping by strictly enforcing laws.

There is a tire carrying law that, if a person is found to be carrying more than 10 tires in a car, it’s an unclassified felony, Curtis said. The person can be fined $10,000 and could face two to four years in prison, he added.

Despite the decline of dumping in recent years, Curtis said he and the Sheriff’s Office still have a way to go to put a stop to it, and one city in Lorain County is feeling a lot of the burden.

Lorain has been especially affected by illegal dumping, mainly in the 2nd Ward, which encompasses parts of downtown Lorain and Broadway, according to Lorain Councilman Dennis Flores.

Flores regularly reports the effects of tire dumping in the city. The evidence, he said, is piled up in alleys, fields and especially abandoned homes throughout Lorain.

The worst part of the dumping is the effect it has on the environment, Flores said. Tires will often collect water, posing a health problem, or catch on fire, destroying the environment around them, according to Oros.

However, much like Curtis’ attempts to enforce dumping laws, Flores said Lorain is making great strides toward cleaning up the streets and removing the eyesores caused by things like abandoned tires. He hopes residents in the city will help by reporting cases of illegal dumping.

“The only way (to fix the problem) is if you have people in the community who come forward and talk,” he said.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or Follow her on Twitter at @AnnaLMerriman.

  • Sis Delish

    This is a Tiring story… there must be a use for these pieces of rubber in Lorain… Where’s that Jimmy Long guy at?

    • Phil Blank

      He died!

  • reallyoldfarts

    So, where can someone can legally dispose of their tires? I have 6 that I bought used over the years that are no good. They won’t take them at a tire center nor at the Lorain Count Haz Waste place on Abbe. Can ya help me CT?

    • John Davidson

      There is a trailer behind the Grafton Township Fire Dept. just for tires. You can “Put them in the trailer any day of the week”.

      • reallyoldfarts

        Thanks! Hope it’s not just for Grafton residents.

    • fmosely

      In order to properly dispose of used tires, the following listed locations will accept used tires for disposal:

      Lorain County Open-All-Year Scrap Tire Collection Sites Tires
      May Be Dropped Off At Any Of The Following Locations, During The Times And Days Listed:
      Elyria City Service Garage– 8AM-3PM, M-F
      851 Garden Street (Between Woodford Ave. & Infirmary Rd.)

      Lorain City Service Garage– 7AM-4PM, M-F
      114 East 35th Street (Corner Of Broadway & East 35th St.)

      North Ridgeville City Service Garage– 7AM-3PM, M-F
      35010 Bainbridge Road (Between S.R. 83 & Chestnut Ridge Rd.)

      Grafton Township Hall– 8AM-4PM, M-F
      17109 Avon-Belden Rd. (Corner of State Routes 83 and 303)

      • reallyoldfarts

        Ya sure about N. Ridgeville? That’s where I live. 2 years ago I tried to take some tires there and they said they stopped collecting them. Took them to Abbe Road facility and said they were gonna stop collecting too.

    • Bill

      I’ve taken tires to The Lorain County Collection at Abbe Rd before and they took them no problem. This is from their Facebook page.


      Drop-off all your recyclable items here! We are open three times a week, during any season, year-round!

      DescriptionResidents of Lorain County may drop off any qualifying material – Household Hazardous Waste, E-Scrap, Fluorescent Lamps & Ballasts and Scrap Tires. Businesses & Organizations with facilities in Lorain County are resctricted to participation in the E-Scrap Program and the Fluorescent Lamp & Ballast Program.

      General Information

      The following materials are accepted at the Collection Center…

      • Corrosives: Acids, Caustics, Rechargeable Batteries, Button Batteries, Hydraulic Brake Fluid

      • Flammables: Latex-Based Paints/Stains/Sealers, Oil-Based Paints/Stains/Sealers, Aerosol Cans, Turpentine, Paint Thinner, Adhesives, Solvents, Oven Cleaners, Lighter Fluid, Butane Lighter Fluid, Oil Filters, Propane Tanks (Up to 33-Pound…See More

    • Daniel Sutter

      Lorain residents can take them to the city garage and put them in a trailer, free service.

  • bROWNS77

    Surprised that you have to pay to recycle them!
    You know how much a bag of rubber mulch costs?

    The county should get a shredder and use the rubber mulch for playgrounds and schools.

    Playground World calls it S.L.R.M ( soft landing rubber material).
    It is fancy for shredded tires.

    I worked there and you can even
    find pieces of Goodyear, ect. lettering in the bags.
    6 inches deep protects a child from a ten foot fall.

    It could be very profitable for Lorain County , selling it loose by the yard to residents ( is a great weed preventing mulch) ,private schools, and save the expense on packaging.

    Even Playground World bought it by bag.
    I do not know of a place that sells it by the yard.

    Buy used tires for 10 cents and then all the crack heads can get those damn tires out of the Black River that idiots throw in there and shred em up.

    Problem solved !

  • Guest

    Doesn’t Lorain pay a Police Dept? Maybe if they weren’t harassing law abiding citizens, Aaron Septaric, for example, they could do their jobs instead of inviting Federal civil lawsuits; 42 USC 1983 Civil action for deprivation of rights.

  • BroDelish5566

    Hey sis, wish your father would have used those

  • Carrie Watson

    And why are we paying a tire disposal fee when we buy new tires if these tires are not being disposed of legally? I thought the fee was supposed to cover that.

    • Bill

      The story explains why.

  • oldruss

    Maybe former commissioner Mary Jo Vasi could be hired as a consultant by the county commissioners to help formulate a plan to eliminate this illegal dumping. See,