GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Gulfport city leaders said they've seen an increase in old tires abandoned on the side of the road or in vacant areas. The improperly disposed of debris creates not only an eyesore, but a health hazard. That's why officials are asking residents that if they see something, say something.
Signs posted throughout parts of Gulfport warn people of the fines that go with illegally dumping trash, but very close to many of those signs are piles of trash and old tires.
"Ride up and down the street. You'll seem them laying alongside the road. Find a vacant lot. Go up and down 34th St. Go up and down 25th Ave., Hwy. 49. You'll see them laying upside the road," said Gulfport's Director of Urban Development and Planning, Greg Pietrangelo.
City leaders said recently they've seen an increase in tires left on the side of the road. According Pietrangelo, there are rules for the disposal of tires.
He said businesses that deal with tires have to obtain a permit, and service vehicles hauling tires must have a decal.
"Businesses that don't follow the ordinance, the fine can be up to $1,000 a day. Tires improperly stored can be up to $50 per tire," said Pietrangelo.
If you are caught dumping tires anywhere other than the proper recycle receptacles, you could be fined $250 per tire along with an added litter fine. Though it costs to properly dispose of tires, city leaders say it's necessary.
"It looks terrible. It looks terrible. One of the big issues with tires is they hold water," said Pietrangelo.
He said that creates a breeding ground for mosquitoes and a home for rodents. Though tire dumpers are often not seen by city officials, they urge anyone who sees someone illegally dumping tires to safely take a photo or video and get a tag number and report it to the city. However, they warn you to never try to stop someone from illegally disposing tires.