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Communal solutions proposed for Atlanta’s scourge of discarded tires

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Spring cleaning initiative offers Atlantans a chance to ferry old rubber toward the nearest collection site

A photo of an extreme example of illegal tire dumping
An extreme example of illegal tire dumping
Courtesy of City of Atlanta

Atlanta’s scrap tire problem is greater than some might expect.

Last year, Atlanta’s public works department recycled nearly 40,000 tires. In 2016, it processed about 50,000.

But, for some odd reason, people still toss the spent rubber wherever they please, which can cost the city hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to tidy up. “I’ve seen illegal dump sites cleaned up, only to have fresh tires there days later,” said Atlanta City Councilman Ivory Lee Young in a press release.

And trashed tires aren’t just unsightly; they can pose a public health hazard, too.

Illegal dumping captured in Blight App
Courtesy of City of Atlanta

According to the press release, the discarded rubber can be both a fire hazard and a breeding ground for disease-carrying, blood-sucking insects—er, mosquitos.

Well, the Atlanta City Council is sick and, uh, tired of it.

Luckily, spring cleaning in this city entails scooping up those scrap tires peppered around our neighborhoods, so the rubber can be properly recycled.

This past Saturday, councilmembers kicked off their annual springtime scrap tire drive. (There’s another in autumn.) The event will continue until April 28, and people who drop of old car shoes during scheduled collections can ditch the scraps for free.

Otherwise, CHaRM, Atlanta’s Center for Hard to Recycle Materials, will charge a couple bucks for people seeking to get rid of more than two at a time.

Below is a list of the upcoming collection dates. Only take-offs from cars and light trucks will be accepted. Leave your tank treads and tractor tires at home.


March 31: Post 1 At-Large Councilmember Michael Julian Bond

CHaRM, 1110 Hill Street SE

9 a.m.–2 p.m.

April 14: District 10 Councilmember Andrea Boone

C.T. Martin Natatorium, 3201 MLK Jr. Drive NW

8 a.m.–1 p.m.

April 19–21: District 9 Councilmember Dustin Hillis

Hartsfield Incinerator Facility, 2715 James Jackson Parkway NW

9 a.m.–5 p.m.

April 21: District 1 Councilmember Carla Smith

CHaRM, 1110 Hill Street SE

9 a.m.–2 p.m.

April 21: District 5 Councilmember Natalyn Archibong

CHaRM, 1110 Hill Street SE

9 a.m.–2 p.m.

April 21: District 4 Councilmember Cleta Winslow

The Mall West End, 850 Oak Street SW

9 a.m.–12 p.m.

April 21: District 11 Councilmember Marci Collier Overstreet

Greenbriar Mall, 2841 Greenbriar Parkway SW

9 a.m.–12 p.m.

April 28: District 12 Councilmember Joyce Sheperd

Future Zone 3 Precinct, 2353 Metropolitan Parkway SW

9 a.m.–1 p.m.