Taxpayer money is being used to clean up the mess left behind by some of McMinn County businesses.
The McMinn County landfill is now home to hundreds of tires. About 500 to be exact. Police say stacks of tires are being illegally dumped on side roads across the county.
"It's a hardship for the farmer, for the land owner to come out there and find a lot of tires piled up on their property. It does tax our resources of litter crews who we'd much rather be picking up roadside trash," says McMinn County Sheriff Joe Guy.
County officials say this is part of a bigger problem. It's been a long-standing battle for years. McMinn County Mayor John Gentry says it all started last year when the state changed it's environmental policies. Tires are not allowed to stay at the county landfill. So they have to hire an outside company to come pick them up and properly dispose of them. Thats why used tire dealers are charged a $91 dollar fee.
"A lot of people think just because they come across the scales at the McMinn County landfill that we keep them. We actually turn around and then call our contractor to come get them," says Mayor Gentry.
But Sheriff Guy says he doesn't see an end in sight unless someone is put behind bars. He says there are still hundreds of tires yet to be cleaned up.
"They were of course pretty upset and it was something you could easily see just big piles of numerous different kinds of old tires," says Sheriff Guy.
Now Mayor Gentry says the county is faced with a three to four hundred dollar ticket to dispose of the tires the right way. Money that will have to come from taxpayer's pockets.
Sheriff Guy says he needs your help finding the dumping culprits. He says if you see someone riding around with a truck filled more than it normally should be with tires down a back country road, report it to police immediately. By Alyssa Spirato