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City of Akron Cracking Down on Illegal Tire Dumping


City of Akron Press Release
From the desk of City of Akron Press Office
Published: 03-01-2023

Akron, Ohio, March 1, 2023 — Today, the City of Akron has announced a coordinated effort to cut down on the amount of illegal tire dumping occurring throughout the city. Currently, Akron officials estimate that well over 3,000 tires have been discarded on vacant lots or in abandoned homes/properties throughout the city. Akron Fire, Akron Police, City Council, the City Prosecutor’s office, Keep Akron Beautiful, and the City’s Public Service Department are working together to combat this widespread issue.

“We’ve known for quite some time that the issue of illegal dumping has become more prevalent,” said Deputy Service Director Eufrancia Lash. “It’s a complex problem due to the cost to recycle these tires as well as limited ability to get rid of large quantities at once. We’re bringing all our resources together to combat this problem across our city using creative solutions and the community’s help.”

Recycling a tire can cost anywhere from $4.25/tire to upwards of $6/tire depending on the size. The city has a contract with Lightner Tire Co. to recycle tires, however they can only take up to 200 tires per day combined from all their clients and customers. The city allows residents to place up to 4 tires on the curb per year for pick up from the city’s sanitation department. In order to schedule that pick up, residents can call 3-1-1.

Last year, the city collected 12,811 legal tires from residents for a total cost of approximately $54,450. The finance department estimates that the issue of illegal tire dumping is costing the city around $75,000 each year. Additionally, Keep Akron Beautiful picked up over 625 illegally dumped tires in 2022 costing the non-profit close to $3,000.

Recently, Akron Fire sent certified letters to the tire and auto shops registered in the city to schedule inspections and notify them of their responsibilities when it comes to tire recycling. They are following up and issuing citations as needed for any violations.

Akron Fire Chief Joseph Natko said, “The Akron Fire Department has been quite active with our Fire Prevention Bureau heading up the recent inspection of approximately 30 tire and auto shops within the City. Not only is improper tire storage a violation of City ordinance, but it also poses a significant fire hazard to civilians and our firefighters as well.”

Akron Police have been discussing the issue during their shift roll calls and paying extra attention to suspicious activity surrounding tire dumping. Recently, an arrest was made when an individual backed a U-Haul into an abandoned lot and then quickly drove off when police approached. They were later apprehended and charged with illegal transportation of tires and illegal dumping, which are both felonies. They were found to have open warrants for illegal transportation and open dumping as well as trespassing.

The City Prosecutor’s office is committed to prosecuting these crimes when individuals are found to be illegally transporting and dumping tires. The potential offenses range from first degree misdemeanors punishable by a mandatory fine of $500 (or the cost of the cleanup whichever is greater) and up to six months in jail, to unclassified felonies punishable by a fine up to $25,000 and up to four years in prison.  

Keep Akron Beautiful, a local non-profit committed to beautification and litter clean up, has recently applied for a grant through the State to help mitigate the cost of clean-up efforts. They expect to hear back this summer.

“Perception matters. If an area feels safe, it likely has a lower crime rate,” said Keep Akron Beautiful CEO Jacqui Flaherty-Ricchiuti. “But what contributes to that sense of safety?  Cleanliness seems to matter. Broken bottles, garbage and illegally dumped items such as tires, mattresses, and furniture, can all create a sense of jeopardy and a perception that people don’t care.  Keep Akron Beautiful recently worked with the Akron Police Department to overlay our frequently littered areas map with the 2022 crime map. It is not surprising that the areas of high litter, are the areas of high crime, which is why it is so important to take pride in our city.”

The City’s service department has appointed Code Compliance Inspector Kathy Graves to oversee and coordinate the overall city efforts to combat this issue. A large dumpster has also been obtained so nuisance compliance officers can begin to collect the dumped tires from across the city and hold them while they wait for recycling at our contracted facility. These efforts will remain ongoing as crews work across the city to collect the 3,000+ tires currently on abandoned lots.

What Residents Can Do To Help:

  • If you see something suspicious, such as an individual unloading tires onto a property you know to be abandoned, please call Akron Police non-emergency line at 330-375-2181 or you can submit an anonymous tip by downloading the Akron PD app powered by TIP411 for free from Apple or Android devices
  • Call 3-1-1 or go online to to report dumping sites for clean-up
  • Spread the word! Make sure your neighbors know to be on the lookout and be vigilant when it comes to keeping our city clean.
  • Call for a bulk pick up. If you have tires you need to get rid of, call 3-1-1 to schedule a pick-up. Residents can place up to 4 tires on the curb per year. As a reminder, these won’t get picked up with your regular trash but rather a separate truck will be around to collect your bulk items.

For further information, contact:
Stephanie Marsh
Chief Communications Officer
Phone: 330-375-2754
E-mail: [email protected]

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