Tire dumping probe hones in on Wilmington tire business

WILMINGTON, Del. - June 18, 2013

Just last week, neighbors in a well-kept section of Northeast Wilmington heard an unusual noise behind their houses.

They came out to discover a U-Haul truck there with men dumping a huge load tires on their property.

"There were probably over 180, 200 tires. But then when I looked into the truck, I really couldn't see. And I realized then that it was dark in there. And they had more tires to dump. But they weren't able to dump them because I had walked to the back of the truck," said Tyrone Nelson.

Nelson called police. He was able to give them a partial license tag number.

Police and L&I got more reports that same day of the same truck dumping in other sections, many of them low-income.

Those reports included the same description of the truck and the drivers and more information on the tags.

They traced the truck to a tire business on Northeast Boulevard.

"There's a business called 3E's. They do tires and things like that. And that's where we found guys in the back loading up the truck to dump some more tires," said Wilmington Police Corporal Paul Simonds.

Sources tell me 3 E's is the target of investigations by L&l and the Department of Natural Resources.

The state agency is supposed to dispose of old tires properly. New tire-buyers are usually charged a disposal fee. But some unscrupulous dealers often keep the fee, and illegally dump the old tires.

At 3 E's, we were told the manager, Darius, was not in, but would call us back.

A man who called himself Randy denied he even worked there.

"I don't know anybody, sir," he said.

When I asked him where Darius was, he said, "He's not here. I don't know Darius."

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