Hed: Three Rivers counties enter tire recycling
By Jane Hill
PONTOTOC – The first waste tire collection trailers have been delivered in Lee and Pontotoc counties, kicking off the regional waste tire collection program for the Three Rivers Regional Solid Waste Management Authority.
Ronnie Bell, authority chairman, said the used tractor-truck trailers, which will be used to collect, store and deliver the waste tires to a chipping and recycling operation in Saltillo, will be installed in all seven Three Rivers counties by mid-April.
“The trailers are being delivered as soon as they are finished putting the lettering on them,” Bell said. “There should be two more finished this week, two next week and one more the following week.”
The waste tire collection sites are designed for use by individuals and small commercial tire operations. State environmental officials and the local waste authority hope that having a convenience center for dropping off waste tires in each county will cut down on the number dumped in ditches.
Tires cannot be disposed of in a landfill unless they are chipped into small pieces. Too often, abandoned tires become a health hazard because the rainwater they hold is an ideal breeding place for disease-carrying mosquitoes.
Each county will operate its own tire collection site and will charge a fee for disposal, said Dan Reese, a waste collection and disposal expert working with the Three Rivers authority.
Fees will range from 75 cents to $1 per regular passenger vehicle tire, up to $4 per large tractor-trailer tire and $7 per farm tractor tire, Reese said.
Mac’s Tire Recycling will charge the counties $50 per ton to dispose of the tires. However, hauling costs from the different counties will affect the disposal rate charged per tire. Transportation costs average 85 cents per mile. In Calhoun County, for instance, the round trip from the collection site to the waste tire recycling center is 146 miles at a cost of $124.10 per trip.
Reese said counties are fighting to keep costs to consumers down because a high disposal cost will discourage people from disposing of their waste tires properly.
“If the cost is too high, people will just throw the tires in a ditch anyway, and we don’t want that,” Reese said.
Help may be on the way from the state, however.
Luis Murillo, with the special waste section of the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, said grants are available to counties to pay for the operation of tire collection sites. The money for the grant fund is supplied through a $1 per tire tax that the state charges on the sale of every new tire.
Bell said the authority’s member counties will certainly apply for any operations grant money available.
Where tired tires go
The waste tire collection sites in Lee and Pontotoc counties are open and ready to accept waste tires, Bell said. Lee County’s site is at the county transfer station and old landfill site near the Skyline community. Pontotoc County’s collection site is at the Three Rivers Regional Landfill off the Corridor V four-lane highway.
In Union County, the collection site is to the north of New Albany at the site of the old Union County landfill. In Itawamba County, tires will be collected at a site about a half-mile north of Fulton, Reese said.
In Monroe County, the collection site will be at the Monroe County transfer station outside of Amory at the old Monroe County landfill. In Lafayette County, tires may be disposed of at the Oxford/Lafayette County transfer station to the south of Oxford.
In Calhoun County, the collection point will be at the site of the old District 1 barn, 1 mile west of Mississippi Highway 9 halfway between Pittsboro and Calhoun City.