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Initiative repurposes illegally dumped tires as playground ‘crumb’ for new DeKalb park

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Film production company Blackhall Studios is leading the charge

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

A fledgling film production company has launched a new initiative that endeavors to crack down on the scourge of illegally discarded tires.

When officials from Blackhall Studios, located just southwest of Gresham Park in DeKalb County, discovered a mass of illegally dumped tires on an undeveloped piece of the company’s recently purchased property, they “sprang into action” and erected a fence to block any more from coming in, according to a press release.

But complaints about the trashed tires continued, so Blackhall’s CEO Ryan Millsap dialed Liberty Tire Recycling to help him craft a sustainable removal plan.

“What is most exciting is that this trash will be made into wonderful products,” Millsap said, per the release.

The old tires are now being chopped up into tiny pieces—or “crumb”—that could find their way back to the property in the form of a playground surface at a new park DeKalb County is developing.

Blackhall’s property is in the process of being donated to the county, which plans to develop the land as a park that will link Intrenchment Creek Park to Gresham Park.

In exchange, the studio gets land from the government that will allow the company to grow its local footprint. (It’s something of a controversial land swap, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.)

Blackhall, known for filming the new “Jumanji” remake and Spider-Man spinoff “Venom,” dropped off the first load of littered tires to Liberty Tire Recycling on May 29.

The removal operation is slated to carry on for as long as it takes to clear the vacant lot on Bouldercrest Road.

Of course, Atlanta’s scrap tire problem exists far beyond the southwest reaches of DeKalb County.

In 2017, in fact, the city’s public works department recycled nearly 40,000 tires. In 2016, the number was higher—50,000.

Additionally, the rubber pollution is more than just an eyesore; it can be both a fire hazard and a festering ground for mosquitos.

Each spring city leaders host a scrap tire drive to help curb the blight.