A rash of illegal dumping in Wakarusa Township has Tim McNish talking trash and putting his money where his mouth is.
McNish, township road foreman, said this morning that crews had picked up about 130 worn-out tires since Tuesday along East 1750 Road and North 1300 Road three miles southeast of Lawrence.
"We picked up about 85 Tuesday," he said. "Yesterday we found 30, and this morning we picked up another 15.
"I've talked to the sheriff's department, and they have no idea where they're coming from."
Douglas County sheriff's Lt. Don Schwartz said officers who investigated McNish's report "found no evidence of who dumped them there." Patrol officers were notified about the problem and told to be on the lookout for suspicious activity in the area, Schwartz said. As of this morning, the culprit or culprits hadn't been found.
And although the problem's source is a mystery, the consequences aren't. McNish said the township must pay to take the tires to a landfill -- $2 per tire -- as well as pay equipment and labor costs for picking them up.
Worse yet, many of the tires still are attached to wheels and must be separated before landfills will accept them, McNish said. He said township officials would have to pay someone to remove tires from metal rims.
Total estimated cost for picking up and disposing of the tires: $600, the sheriff's report says.
The tires, all worn or blown-out, have been found in ravines, road shoulders and in roadways, McNish said.
"I've never seen something like this, and I've been at Wakarusa Township going on eight years now," McNish said. "It's a mess. I'd be willing to pay $100 out of my pocket to anybody who knows who's doing this."