BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A quick drive through Baton Rouge and you’re bound to find a tire or two tucked away in the weeds.
“People change their tires all time and what’s removed from the car becomes something we have to deal with in some way shape or form,” says Councilmember Matt Watson.
Illegal tire dumping has been an issue for years. Watson is pleased that all twelve Metro Council members finally agreed to a location after months of heated debates.
But Watson feels like the new spot could hinder the blight fighting process, “I do feel bad about the fact that we’ve removed the tire shredder location so far North away from ground zero of our tire dumping problem. I don’t think we’re going to get as much individual dropping off of tires that we hoped to get.”
The shredder will sit just outside of Baker on this empty lot on Main Street. Watson says people can drop off old tires but Baum Environmental, the group running the project also has plans to pick them up.
Watson says initially the plans were to, “Put the shredder in a practical location to remove an excuse with people that may break the law.” The original location of the shredder was in District 1.
Councilwoman Tara Wicker says some businesses in their haste to get rid of tires, end up getting them dumped on vacant lots, “It becomes cheaper for them and less trouble. ‘Oh, there’s a vacant lot. Let me just dump it here,’ and so it never makes it to where it’s supposed to be. We’re trying to make sure that loophole is closed,” she says.
Councilwoman Wicker says not all the tires will be headed to the shredder. She plans to turn any decent tires into playground equipment, “All tires might not be able to be used in a safe way, So we have to be very creative about tires that have exposed metal showing in them.”
A lot right across from Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church will be home to the first play space. The ground is being readied right now for change. In a few weeks’ time tires will be used as swings and climbing walls, “ The tires that we’re going to use for the creative play space have already been stored.”
Plans are in the works for another play space on East Washington Street across from the Dr. Leo S. Butler Community Center.
WAFB’s Carmen Poe will have more coming up on 9News at 6.