Saturday, August 14, 1999

N.Ky. counties will collect old tires




BY TERRY FLYNN
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Residents of Campbell, Kenton or Boone counties who may be harboring a stack of old tires can take heart. The state tire amnesty program is coming to Northern Kentucky and will offer an opportunity to dispose of them — no matter how many.

        Sites will be designated in each of the three counties this fall where old tires can be dumped without charge and without penalty.

State's idea
        The idea for tire amnesty originated with the Division of Waste Management of the Kentucky Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Cabinet.

        Tires are collected by tire recycling contractors, who then shred the rubber and convert it to a variety of uses.

        “Historically, Kentucky has always had a problem with tires,” said Nate Sturm, a spokesman with the Northern Kentucky Solid Waste Management Area.

        “The legislature reacted to this and put in a funding mechanism to deal with this problem,” Mr. Sturm said.

        Funding for the tire amnesty program comes from the $1 fee collected on the sale of every new tire in Kentucky. The money is transfered to the Waste Tire Trust Fund and is used to collect improperly disposed tires.

Huge piles a problem
        The goal of the amnesty program is to eliminate piles of tires that have traditionally grown around the state in rural and urban settings, and the environmental and public health problems the tires create.

        Campbell County was the site of two huge tire dumps in recent years, each with more than a million tires. They eventually were disposed of through a state-mandated program.

        Mr. Sturm said the amnesty program will come around just once in Northern Kentucky and people with old tires on their property or in a garage should take advantage of the program.

        The usual charge for disposal of passenger tires by gas stations or tire shops is $2 each.

Bid to be chosen
       

        “We actually initiate the process of finding a contractor for the Northern Kentucky project,” he said. “We just opened the bids and received several competitive proposals. We will select one shortly.”

        It is up to the contractor to decide where to set up the collection points — probably one per county — where the tires will be shredded. It could be handled at one location or at each collection site.

        The state determines the final use of the ground-up tires.

        Mr. Sturm said the program will start in October or early November, depending upon how quickly the contractor can choose collection and shredding sites.

       



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