Friday, October 27, 2000

Tire fund's value argued

By Susan Vela
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        They're back.

        A year after a new statewide tire-amnesty program visited the area, dumped tires are returning to Northern Kentucky's terrain.

        “We still get them,” said Gary Hensley of the Kenton County Public Works Department. “There's always going to be a few irresponsible ones (and) people just don't want to pay that fee” to dispose of tires.

        In 1990, the General Assembly mandated that $1 from each tire sale go toward the Kentucky Tire Trust Fund to underwrite the amnesty program.

        The program has traveled throughout the state and allows owners of used tires to dump their unsightly possessions at designated locations without cost or penalty.

        It normally costs $2 to $3 to dispose of a tire.

        But the $1 collection fee will expire in 2002.

        Solid waste coordinators want to keep the tires at bay, which is why they're working with Northern Kentucky politicians and lobbying for the continuance of the tire trust fund.

        “The fund is directly connected with the problem it addresses. With that kind of common-sense strategy, we could do something about tires in Kentucky,” said Nate Sturm, Northern Kentucky's solid waste management coordinator.

        “We haven't seen this type of success with a waste management program in Kentucky, maybe ever.

        “Tires are a problem, and they need to be controlled.”

        The state's tire-amnesty program visited Northern Kentucky at this time last year. It collected more than 283,000 tires from Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties.

        The tires were shredded and used to build a landfill cell in Medora, Ind.

        “It eliminated big piles” of tires, said Ken Knipper, Campbell County's solid waste coordinator.

        “It made people aware of the fact that if they keep a car tire they would have to pay to get rid of it. It was a neat program.

        “I'd like to see the state do it again.”

        Said Mary Shinkle, Boone County's solid waste coordinator: “We certainly don't want (the state's tire fund) to sunset.

        “It's awesome.”

        Mr. Sturm said he's working with the region's judge-executives to gain support for the state's tire fund and traveling amnesty program.

        Alternative options, he said, would be to find the funding for permanent drop-off sites.


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