Visible from Space

Giant tyre mound visible from space

Dumped tires are seen piled in a wooded area near Elloree, S.C. (AP Photo/Rainier Ehrhardt)

The sprawling pile of hundreds of thousands of tyres isn’t easy to spot from the ground, sitting in a rural South Carolina clearing accessible by only a circuitous dirt path that winds through thick patches of trees. No one knows how all those tyres got there, or when.

But, Calhoun County Council Chairman David Summers says of this giant rubber menace, “You can see it from space.”

Authorities have charged one person in connection with the mess of roughly 250,000 tyres, which covers more than 50 acres on satellite images. And now a Florida company is helping haul it all away.

Litter control officer Boyce Till said he contacted the local sheriff and state health department, which is investigating who had been dumping the tyres. But the worst possible penalty that could be imposed locally? A single US$475 (NZ$627) ticket for littering.

Records show the property is owned by Michael Keitt Jr of Far Rockaway, New York. A local officials said the man was one of several heirs to the property, all of whom live out of state.

As part of the state Department of Health and Environmental Control’s case, a state grand jury issued indictments against George Fontella Brown, 39, of Easley, on three charges of violating the state’s solid waste act, according to DHEC spokesman Adam Myrick. Those state charges carry much heftier possible penalties, including thousands of dollars in fines and up to a year in jail.

Myrick would not discuss details of the case against Brown, and a spokesman for state Attorney General Alan Wilson did not respond to messages.

Tyre dumping has historically been a problem in Calhoun County and other rural areas, said Summers, who recalled another giant tyre pile in the 1990s that would dwarf the current monstrosity.

Source: Stuff NZ Read more

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