Local nonprofit, community clean up illegal tire dumpsite
Exec. Director Amanda Peels says volunteers cleaned 8,321 tires from site
BRADLEY COUNTY, Tenn. (WDEF) — An eyesore off of Exit 20 in Cleveland has finally been cleaned up after more than a year’s worth of volunteering from the community.
Now, it seems they’re doing all they can to keep it that way.
Exactly one year ago today, Cleveland City Council members met to discuss bolstering punishing resolutions against those found illegally disposing of tires at dump sites.
But before any of that happened, 14 months ago, Amanda Peels was tired of waiting on results … and got to work.
In late 2021, Peels saw that rubber was no longer meeting the road, but the woods.
With plenty of help from the community, what was an illegal dump site full of more than 8,300 tires has been “abated” and cleaned of its unwanted mess.
“I’m so proud of all of our volunteers and all of the support and effort,” Peels said. “I’m very thankful because it’s been very tiring, but I am very happy.”
Peels says the majority of volunteers came from the area’s youth, while local city and county leaders also assisted in the mass cleaning.
She says there are 11 private property dump sites in the community, and those who fall victim to tire dumping could face significant repercussions from the state.
“That property owner, at the end of the day, is responsible for cleaning it up,” Peels said. “If it’s not cleaned up, they find themselves in a situation with the state with the Department of Environment and Conservation for Solid Waste Management to where they can be held accountable.”
Due to the publicity of the reformed dump site, Peels says the community is now holding tire dumpers accountable and calling authorities far more often if caught in the act.
Bradley County Mayor Gary Davis is no stranger to the nonprofit’s efforts and says while “progress has definitely been made cleaning up the larger dump sites,” the county is ready to tackle smaller sites while making laws “tougher” and finding “solutions” to the problem.
“We did have an increase in reports — ‘Hey, I saw this truck carrying this amount of tires going this direction,'” Peels said. “Now we have a lot of reports of ‘Hey, I saw them at this place, I saw them at that place.'”
Should anyone in the community catch someone in the act of illegally dumping tires on private property, Peels says the most effective way to respond is to call the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office.
She did say, however, that if all you know is the location of a small tire dumping site … just call her.