SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – 22News learned that Springfield is investigating businesses that are involved in dumping almost 500 tires at locations throughout the city.

This week, survellience video helped lead to the arrest of Rafael Rivera-Vasquez from Springfield, who is currently facing 8 counts of illegal dumping at seven locations throughout the city. Rivera-Vasquez was dumping tires, almost 500 of them. Police say he was likely working with local businesses dumping tires so businesses can avoid the cost of tire disposal.

“Our unit is looking at the potential businesses that may be involved in this and ensure that they are disposing of their tires properly and not giving them to someone who has put them in his own hands and you see where they end up – all over the city,” Ryan Walsh, Springfield Police Public Information officer told 22News.

Police say there is likely a correlation between this dumping and increasing costs of tire disposal. People in the tire business say they’ve seen disposal rates skyrocket since COVID. “It went up from 75 cents a tire to almost $6 a tire,” Timothy Andrews, owner of Tire Trak 7.

Some businesses allegedly looking to skirt these costs by hiring a person to get rid of these tires and the expense of the city and homeowners.

22News spoke to the owner of a King Street home where a total of 75 tires were dumped on two separate occasions. This homeowner, who wanted to remain anonymous, first noticed a pile of tires on his property last Thursday and he’s upset. “Irate. Pissed off. Now it’s like what do I do? I hope the city helps out and comes and gets these tires they dumped them all over Springfield.”

“To the businesses here, this is not over because if you are doing this, we’re coming after you, too. A lot of this stuff will be exposed and hopefully, our court system will do its job and send a message that you can’t allow somebody like this to dump 500 tires,” Mayor Domenic Sarno.

22News also spoke to Chris Cignoli, Director of the Springfield DPW for this story and he says each tire has a serial number on them, which makes their origins easy to trace.