Preston litter control officer fights back against tire dumping

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PRESTON COUNTY, W.VA Tires thrown out of vehicles and dumped on back roads are a problem that some residents might not see.

Officer Jay Sowers says the tires are dumped by Preston County residents on back roads because they are likely to not be caught.

That is because the Litter Control Officer of Preston County, Jay Sowers has worked tirelessly to dispose of these tires as soon as they are reported. But, he says he has seen a massive increase in dumping after Preston County's only tire recycling center closed down earlier this year.

"They averaged 200,000 tires a year," said Sowers.

With the center closing, Preston residents are left confused about what to do with their tires.

"There's no where to take them. These people are like, what are we going to do with our tires? Their phone's still ringing off the hook. My phone is still ringing off the hook," said Sowers.

Sowers took 5 News on a ride-along through Preston County and found dozens of tires laying throughout nearly every back road outside of Kingwood.

"It's bad for the environment, the water. It's just no good to have them over the hill," said Sowers.

Sowers said, he is working to find a way to prevent this dumping and advises anyone who is looking to dispose of tires in Preston County to contact him.

"We are trying to get a plan together with the D-E-P and the tire and rubber company in Weston, where we are going to have a satellite station," said Sowers.

Until then, Sowers and his crew will be patrolling the back roads.