Timeline for cleanup uncertain as illegally dumped tires pile up in Salt Lake County

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah -- An update on a story we first brought you last month, where thousands of tires were illegally dumped at a conservation pond in Salt Lake County.

After our report, the health department sent out inspectors. But weeks later when our crews went to check if the tires had been cleaned up, the pile had only grown.

Now we're asking who's going to clean it up, and when?

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality’s Solid Waste Program is investigating.

“As far as how long they've been there, we're not sure. I know they're talking about a couple thousand tires,” said Allan Moore, DEQ Solid Waste Program Manager.

The solid waste program doesn't know who is dumping the tires, but they have a good guess as to why.

“This road is just down the road from the landfill, and I think people realize when they go to the landfill they have to pay a fee so they just continue down the road,” Moore said.

It costs around $3 per tire to take them to the landfill. This illegal dumping is something Fox 13 first brought to the state's attention last month.

“Since we became involved or been aware of it, we have a plan together,” Moore said.

But black tires still scatter the shoreline. The Salt Lake County Health Department is the lead on the cleanup, but they say while this is an eyesore the tires aren't an immediate health hazard, so it falls low on the priority list.

Part of the hold up is they have to figure out who will foot the bill to clean it up.

“We're looking at three property owners that will be responsible for cleaning up the property,” Moore said.

County documents say the tires are on properties owned by the Division of Wildlife Resources, West Valley City, Salt Lake City and private entities. While these tires stack up, this is a problem that's growing.

“It's been the last year or so we've seen a lot of reports of tire piles, and that's what I'm seeing nationwide as well,” Moore said.

To give you an idea, in Salt Lake County from 2013 to 2016 they had one report of a tire pile. In 2017 alone they had 16 reports of tire piles with more than a thousand tires.

When Fox 13 asked the Salt Lake County Health Department for a timeline of the cleanup they said they won’t be able to answer that until the end of next month.