Woman Could Go To Jail For Recycling Tires Into Planters

Toni Shelton, who lives in Sugar Creek, Missouri, has been repainting old tires to turn them into flower planters.

“I was just really interested in recycling and I’m really big on self-sufficiency,” she told KCTV news.

Sounds like a great idea, right?

After all, recycling is one of the most important things we can do to preserve our planet.

The authorities in Sugar Creek do not agree.  They have issued Shelton a citation, but she is refusing to pay the fine based on principle. Instead, she is prepared to go to jail after she was threatened by authorities in her home town.

Why are these tires such a threat to Sugar Creek? Apparently the number of tires she was storing could attract mosquitoes and lower property values.

Oh no! What could be more important than property values?

From rawstory:

“We’d asked her to put them somewhere else because there were quite a number of them,” Sugar Creek Chief Herb Soule insisted.”We try to keep people from accumulating tires because they retain water and they attract mosquitos. They detract from property values in the neighborhood too.”

Shelton as now moved most of the old tires and  is storing some of them inside of an old truck.

Still she said she won’t get rid of all the tires because she said it would send the wrong message to her children.

“I don’t want my kids to see me back down and not follow my heart,” she explained to KCTV news.

The case will be heard in municipal court in Sugar Creek next week.

Missouri officials don’t seem to be aware, but here are some of the benefits of recycling:

•    Recycling protects and expands US manufacturing jobs and increases US competitiveness;
•    Recycling reduces the need for landfilling and incineration;
•    Recycling prevents pollution caused by the manufacturing of products from virgin materials;
•    Recycling saves energy;
•    Recycling decreases emissions of greenhouse gases that contribute to global climate change;
•    Recycling conserves natural resources such as timber, water, and minerals;
•    Recycling helps sustain the environment for future generations.

If you agree that Toni Shelton is improving the environment by recycling old tires and that, far from being punished, she should be applauded, please sign our petition demanding that all charges against her be dropped immediately.

Photo Credit: KCTV 5 news online video


Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson4 years ago

hmm. If the people in my neighborhood had a yard full of junk as planters and I tried to sell my house, buyers would be turned off by the junkyard next store. So it depends on what type of neighborhood she lives in, how many tires there were ect. I mean they are an eye sore, and they DO attract mosquitoes, which could be a potential health hazard. We live on 100 acres, And there are 5 or so old tires used as planters on the property (my boyfriends grandmother lives up the driveway a ways and loves plants) but they are spread out, done tastefully, and not everywhere. It isn't recycling, its reusing, and it's still there being junky rubber. I am sort of on the side of the officials. My parents live in an upscale suburban neighborhood, and I assure you the neighbors would not welcome 50 or 20 or even 5 tires in the yard, bc it DOES look bad

Amanda S.
Amanda S4 years ago

It would have been looked upon favorably by the court, more-so than flatly *refusing to do anything*.
The woman could have built or purchased a shed in which to store the tires out of view.
She then could argue that the expense of building the shelter was a far better use of financial resources than paying the fine.
Yet another fine argument to her own defense that went overlooked.

Amanda S.
Amanda S4 years ago

What's Next? Fine homeless persons found by shelters for loitering? Nevermind, that's already being done too.
The benefit that this woman provides to her community by recycling outweighs any negatives.

I CAN appreciate that a pile of old tires is by default, an unsightly thing. Should we then ticket anyone who does not keep their property up to our "visually pleasing" standards?
The community itself is acting as a mega-HOA here and dictating how a person maintains their private property. Police state much?

Water does indeed accumulate in the wells of discarded tires, making nice mosquito breeding quarters. Bird baths, unused pools and hot tubs, and backyard wash buckets are even more commonplace and are equally as ideal breeding grounds. Should the community undergo a "witch hunt" so that every person with such conditions found on their own property be ticketed as well?

A reasonable, conscientious citizen would realize that preventing this woman from recycling is largely detrimental to all, and would thus seek a SOLUTION to alleviate negativity involving her endeavor rather than to take up criminal charges against her.

Someone in her community could have offered space in their garage or shed for the woman to store the "unsightly" tire pile and to keep water off of them.
The woman could have sought such an arrangement on her own, and then brought up this point in court to contest the charges placed against her.
It would have been looked upon favorably by

Carrie-Anne Brown

signed, thanks for sharing

Haleigh Owen
Haleigh O4 years ago

Tires are ugly, and property values are important. If she has them out painted all nice and pretty, fair enough. But when you're hoarding loads of them out in the open in all their ugliness, then it is a big problem for sure. I'm all for recycling but can't fully agree with this woman.

Belinda Donald
Belinda D4 years ago

Using old tyres as planters is not really recycling. At the end of the day you still have a toxic chunk of rubber.

Patrick BENARD

I can't stand those righteous, law-obedient, do-gooders (ex. Roberta D. and John D.) who shelter themselves behind inane laws, just because such laws protect their property values. One ought to be allowed to do as they please on their own estate, as long as they are not hurting or threatening anyone. Let the woman decorate her own garden, there are more important matters to deal with!!!

Roberta G.
Roberta G4 years ago

I think she had her day in court last week, so what was the verdict?

When this thread was first posted , I commented on how many people read that she was being "persecuted" for recycling. Not so! She was cited for improper storage (as John D notes below); which created a mosquito problem.

I didn't sign the petition,

John Ditchman
John Ditchman4 years ago

Whoever writes the headlines for these articles should be required to at least read the article! This woman is NOT being prosecuted for recycling tires, but rather, is being cited for improperly storing old tires. I don't want a pile of old tires near my house, and neither do you. If Toni Shelton wants to reuse car tires as planters, that's great! But she needs to do it in a responsible manner.

nonya bizness
Michael hankins4 years ago

I could definantly see her getting cited if they are an eye soar,the stifle doesn't say who many she could have 100 old tires sprawling the front yard.Just because its repurposed don't make it pretty.