ATLANTA -- At an abandoned apartment complex in northwest Atlanta, there's an almost post-apocalyptic landscape of trash and graffiti and -- more than anything else-- discarded automobile tires.
There are at least a half dozen mounds containing thousands and perhaps tens of thousands of tires. They arrive mysteriously, and quite illegally.
"You can never see the ghost that dumps off the tires," said Travie Leslie, past president of a Neighborhood Planning Unit V. "You never see them. I have sat up personally til three or four o'clock in the morning. I nod off and boom, (the tires are) there. I'm not kidding."
City officials say such dumps are all over the city, creating eyesores and environmental hazards.
"I deal with tire dumping on a continuous basis," said city council member Joyce Sheperd. She has written a new ordinance designed to curb illegal tire dumps-- mostly by targeting the often mysterious vehicles carrying used tires.
Shepard says she expects the city council to vote on the ordinance December 3.
The state of Georgia collects a two dollar disposal fee for every new tire sold in the state. But critics say only a fraction of that money goes to the proper disposal of tires. The rest goes to fund state government.
They point out that this isn't just a city problem.