Kansas City takes on tire dumping problem

They sprout like warts along the sides of roadways. They multiply like tumors in vacant lots.

The piles of waste tires have been growing in Kansas City, and Keith Johnson on Tuesday was tackling yet another small mountain of them dumped at 29th Street and Spruce Avenue.

"This is a regular," Johnson, a solid-waste crew member, said of the location.

Kansas City isn't alone among cities in struggling with the expensive and annoying problem. It's just too easy to dump tires instead of spending the money to properly dispose of them.

But a Kansas City waste tire committee has just issued recommendations for the City Council to consider. Proposals to deter the dumping include a state law change and a ballot measure that could be put to voters next April.

"I'm very fed up with this in the community," said Kansas City resident Charles Melton, a retired tire dealer who has been agitating for a solution for more than a year. Melton served on the citizens committee that studied the problem and researched approaches in other cities and states.

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