County Partners to Clear Illegal Tire Dump

RIDGEWAY – A mountain of used car tires near the Kershaw County line in Ridgeway kept work crews busy last week and sparked an investigation by the State Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). The approximately 3,000 used tires were actually discovered and reported last summer, according to Marvin Jeter of the Fairfield County Code Enforcement Department, and the matter was turned over to DHEC in July 2012. It was only when a second complaint came in two weeks ago that DHEC launched their investigation and the County partnered with the land owner to remove the tires from the nearly 6-acre lot at 768 Frontier Drive.

Jake Gaston, with the Fairfield Department of Public Works, said the land owner, who lives in Washington, D.C., faced heavy fines from DHEC if the tires were not removed, but also a cost of around $3,000 to pay to have them removed. Gaston said his department, which recycles tires for free through a company called Ridge Recyclers, asked Ridge if they would drop a trailer on the lot at no cost. They agreed and the land owner paid a crew to load the tires, saving her about $1,500. As of late last week, the workers had filled two tractor trailers with the tires and were working on a third.

Gaston reminded county residents that they can drop off small loads of tires at any Fairfield County recycling facility. Larger loads should be dropped at the County facility on Old Airport Road.

DHEC said the matter was under investigation by their Office of Criminal Investigations, but would not comment on why it took nearly a year for them to begin the inquiry.

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