November 22, 2007

Northeast Missouri Benefits From Removal of 16,545 Waste Tires

It may not be able to leap tall buildings in a single bound, or move faster than a speeding locomotive, but the Northeast Missouri Solid Waste District is still a savior for many area residents. More than 16,000 waste tires were taken out of circulation in just 12 days in six northeast Missouri counties courtesy of the super hero.

The Northeast Regional Planning Commissions 2007 waste tire collection program benefited Adair, Clark, Knox, Lewis, Schuyler and Scotland counties with two-day waste tire collection events hosted in each of the six locations this fall.

Residents of each county were allowed to dispose of waste tires at the collection centers. The lone requirement was a signed waiver stating the tires were not derived from a tire-related business.

Collection points were established in each county where the road and bridge department employees of each county (except Adair County where the project was handled by the Kirksville Public Works Department) unloaded the tires for residents and stored them for pick-up.

At the end of the two-day collection, Mike Parhurst of Eagleville arrived at each site where the employees loaded the tires into box trailers, but only after they were sorted and stored based on size and type.

The truckloads of tires were then delivered to Granuband, a Macon company that recycles the tires into a number of end market products ranging from tire-derived fuel to different types of crumb rubber raw material. The latter will be utilized in athletic tracks, football fields, mats, playground covering and many more products. The metal in tires is extracted in the process and is also recycled.

At a disposal cost of $104.50 per ton, the total project disposal price was approximately $41,500, with nearly 400 tons of tires collected.

The Scotland County collection center received a total of 2,594 tires, or approximately 75 tons.

Lewis County had the largest total, recycling 4,252 tires. Clark County residents submitted 3,035 tires to the Kahoka collection center while Knox County collected 2,826 tires. Adair County residents submitted 2,782 tires while Schuyler County had the lowest total at 1,456 tires collected.

The Northeast Missouri Solid Waste District has provided the tire collection service since 1997. In that time a total of 103,478 light-duty tires, 17,028 heavy-duty car/truck tires and 6,132 heavy equipment/farm tires have been collected, diverting 2,745 tons of waste tires from landfills or other disposal sites.

The purpose of the cleanup is obvious, said organizer Janna Cline. Waste tires that are not disposed of properly pose a serious threat to the health of the population and to the environment.

Cline pointed out that in 2006 the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlighted the spread of West Nile disease in Missouri, which killed five people that year. The report highlighted the fact that in one season, each waste tire left in the open can provide a breeding ground for the fertilization of as many as 1 million mosquitoes.

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources estimates there are nearly 2.9 million tires remaining in illegal dumpsites. Burning of tires is prohibited because the process releases hazardous materials into the environment. Waste tire fires can burn and smolder for months and in some cases even years.

The NEMORPC and the Solid Waste management district expressed their appreciation for the county and city crews that helped make the collection projects a success.

For more info on the collection contact Nate Walker, executive director of the NEMORPC, or Solid Waste Coordinator Janna Cline in Memphis at 660-465-7281.

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