ROCHELLE – Ogle County, along with four other counties in the state, participated in the Illinois Environmental Protection Agencies’ used tire removal action in Northern Illinois recently.
The used tire removal events are part of the agency’s efforts to assist units of local government in providing and maintaining a healthy environment by removing used tires from public and abandoned properties.
Used tires lying around can create many different health dangers including contaminating the air, land and water, but the most pressing health concern is the possible breeding grounds they create for disease-carrying insects.
“We are proud of our ongoing work with these communities to remove the hazards that can be found with discarded used tires,” said John Kim, director of the Illinois EPA. “Ensuring the tires are properly disposed of will improve the local landscape and also reduce the risk of mosquito-borne illnesses by removing the breeding habitats.”
The collection process in Ogle County took place the during the first week in August and was conducted by government officials. The majority of the tires are collected from the sides of public roadways where they have been dumped.
“People can properly dispose of their tires at pretty much any automotive business for approximately $2.50 per passenger tire, but some people just dump them to avoid that fee [we believe],” explained Paul Cooney, solid waste management specialist.
The used tire removal program is a process that Ogle County applies to the Illinois EPA office in Rockford for every year and for the last couple of years has received the funds to complete it. Every fall they apply for a collection the following year. This year approximately 450 tires that weigh approximately 10.2 tons were removed.
All of the collected tires will be sent to a facility to be reused for a variety of things.
“The tires will be trucked to a facility in the south Chicago suburbs where they are shredded to be recycled into playground type mulch and things like that, or they could go to certain landfills in Indiana for certain types of daily cover,” Cooney said.
Ogle County Solid Waste Management officials would like people to know that if they dispose of their tires properly, those funds are then used for future used tire removal projects.