(Editor's Note: This is the fourth in a series of news stories about the worsening eyesore of littering in the Cleveland and Bradley County community).Anyone who remembers watching local television …
(Editor's Note: This is the fourth in a series of news stories about the worsening eyesore of littering in the Cleveland and Bradley County community).
Anyone who remembers watching local television during the 1970s may recall the famous “Tennessee Trash” commercial that depicted a disheveled man tossing trash out of a convertible while speeding down an interstate.
Sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Transportation, the commercial won the coveted Clio Award, which recognizes excellence in advertising.
But while the commercial’s legacy resulted in cleaner roads and highways in Tennessee, illegal dumping still occurs on isolated tracts of land throughout the state, including Cleveland and Bradley County.
Cleveland resident T.L. Huskins wants something done about it.
In addition to fighting illegal dumping, Huskins has been waging a one-man campaign to rid the Cleveland Southside of trash he said accumulates daily, much of it falling from garbage trucks that pass through the area while on their way to the 100-acre, Santec-operated landfill, located on Landfill Road in Bradley County.
Recently, Huskins has been concerned about the piles of tires that have been accumulating on a tract of land located near Exit 20 off Interstate 75.
The property, which surrounds Stone Lake Reservoir, is located between APD 40 and Lake Road.
According to the Bradley County Assessor of Property’s website, the site is owned by Larry Armour of Cleveland Exit 20 LLC, located in Ooltewah.
The property lies inside the city limits.
“I want to see something done for this community,” Huskins told the Cleveland Daily Banner as he navigated his pickup truck through the winding, gravel roads that cut through the property.
In addition to being an eyesore, the piles of discarded tires are a health hazard, collecting stagnant rainwater, providing a source where mosquitoes can breed.
Several voice mail messages left with Armour were not returned as of press time.
During an April 8 work session of the Cleveland City Council, Huskins also complained about the hundreds of garbage trucks that drive through the community every week.
“We have hundreds of trash trucks speeding through our community each day of the week from several areas in Georgia, Chattanooga, Bradley County and the city of Cleveland.” Huskins said.
He said trash falls from the trucks and scatters along streets.
Huskins also said the trucks carry chemical waste, dead animals, fiberglass, asbestos and “garbage of every conceivable kind.”
Huskins said the discarded tires dumped at the property off APD-40 have been there for months.
“This would have never … existed at Exit 25 or Exit 27,” Huskins said.
“The 1st District on the southend deserves to have our roadways maintained, as much as any area of the city, as the city’s garbage is hauled back and forth on our highways," Huskins said.
"Why are waste management and transfer facilities located on the south end? Nobody invited them. On the south end, it’s not the ‘City with Spirit,’ but the 'city with trash,'” Huskins said.
Speaking during a Feb. 20 meeting of the Bradley County Commission, Huskins also complained about the landfill.
“The landfill is a nasty, dirty, filthy, stinky, diseased place on the southwest corner of Bradley County,” Huskins said. “It destroys land values of the citizens of our community and was forced upon us despite our opposition, leaving us no hope of ever having it moved after being lied to about the length of how long it would be in our community.”
Huskins told the newly elected commissioners that he hoped they will help with the issues.
(Next: A look at how littering may be affecting the ability of the city to attract new businesses).
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