WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Residents along the Arkansas River are continuing to find tires. It is an issue they have been dealing with for months.
Now, that the water level has dropped, the issue is more evident than before when KSN first brought you the story in May.
Last week, drone video captured tires in the river near Derby. The video was taken by Darrell Allen and his family.
“How did we get to this point?” Allen asked. “It’s just ridiculous. It’s sickening.”
Allen has reported the tires to the City of Wichita and filed multiple EPA complaints in the last several months. He is hoping the tires would be cleaned up.
“There are so many tires down there,” said Allen. “I think these were used for erosion control, but they were too close to the river, and they weren’t secured.”
Last year and earlier this year, Allen and his son climbed in their canoes to try to find where the tires were coming from. Both pulled 50 tires from the river.
Allen said he has talked to officials about resolving the issue; however, information about that process has not been released publicly.
KSN News contacted the City of Wichita to find out where officials stand on the clean up. The city released this statement:
“We received the unfortunate news that someone had dumped tires into the Arkansas River. The City will plan to clean the [tires] up. In the meantime, we wish to stress that keeping our city clean is everyone’s responsibility. Illegal dumping contributes to land water and air pollution, damages the habitats of wildlife, and is a general eyesore in our community.”
While it took several months for action, Allen fears cleaning up that many tires will be an impossible job for the city.
“I like to keep it picked up, but it looks like I’m going to be keeping it picked up, all the while I live here,” said Allen.
Allen said he was told by city officials that contractors for the clean up have been interviewed and a portion of land has been cleared to allow equipment in the river.
City officials told KSN they are unsure how long the clean up process will take and when that process will begin.
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