CLARKSBURG -- It's spring cleaning time. That means getting rid of old tires free of charge and cleaning up the state's roads and highways.
The Division of Highways has designated the week of April 21-26 as statewide Tire Amnesty Week.
Carol Melling, director of public affairs for highways, said more than 1 million junk tires have been collected throughout the state over the past two years.
"These do not include the waste tire locations around the state that we have remediated," Melling said.
Those with proof of West Virginia residence can bring up to 50 tires from cars and light trucks to any of 72 DOH district and county sites statewide.
Paul Hamrick, Harrison County Solid Waste Authority director, encourages every family in the region to take advantage of the free program.
"June-October is the time for mosquito breeding with encephalitis or West Nile virus a threat," Hamrick said. "Most of our threat is from a treehole mosquito, which can breed in as little as a teaspoon of water."
Hamrick said waste tires are an eyesore and health threat. "The yard that's neater beats the skeeter," he said.
Collection hours are from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the week and from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday. Tires, which may include rims, cannot be from large trucks or from commercial establishments, existing abandoned tire piles, licensed salvage yards or out of state.
The last collection day will coincide with the Adopt-A-Highway Program Statewide Spring Cleaning Day.
Agnes Kessler, Adopt-A-Highway program coordinator for District 7 DOH in Weston, said the response to both programs has been tremendous.
"This year we will manage the tire collection differently due to the response," Kessler said. "We collected thousands of tires last year. We will have more trailers for collection this time."
Statewide Spring Cleanup is open to Adopt-A-Highway members and non-members.
Kessler said volunteers are urged to get involved in the program that beautifies the state's highways and public roads.
Registration is required and member and non-member volunteers who register by April 23 will receive a 7-inch flashlight with replaceable batteries. Only registered participants will receive the gift.
Supplies for the cleanup are available at DOH county garages. They can be picked up from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. April 26. Contact the DOH to make arrangements to pick up supplies prior to the cleanup.
Residents are also reminded that the second Saturday of each month is free day at the landfill at S&S and Meadowfill Landfills in Harrison County.
Staff writer Darlene J. Taylor can be reached at 626-1403 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org