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Recent state scrap tire collection a huge success

by Jennifer Biller

STAFF WRITER

Area residents didn't spin their wheels when it came to a recent scrap tire collection program by the Division of Highways.

A total of 75,439 tires were collected from District 4, which includes Harrison, Doddridge, Taylor, Marion, Monongalia and Preston counties, said Russ Rader, manager of the waste tire program.

During four Saturday mornings in late August and September, 455,371 tires were dumped at 78 Division of Highways sites throughout the state, Rader said.

The numbers were unexpected.

"The public liked it and they needed an outlet obviously," he said. "I keep getting complaints that we didn't do it for long enough. If you look at the results by week, they almost show that we needed one more Saturday to get those extra tires."

During the first week, 65,991 tires were collected, compared to week three with 146,163.

Illegal tire dumps continue to be a problem in the state, with about 8-12 million waste tires needing cleaned up and destroyed, Rader said. What was collected is not a large portion when considering that amount, but it did help, Rader said.

"It's not a big chunk, but those tires are the ones people would end up throwing over a hill or in a creek, and eventually they would end up being a tremendous cost to go out and clean up," he said.

It costs the division between $1.50 to $2 per tire to haul, shred and dispose of it, Rader said.

The success of the program has the state considering continuing it.

"We're trying to see what we can schedule in the future," Rader said.

"We know there is still a need. If possible, I would like to have this annually with a clean up day in October and one in April," he said.

Staff writer Jennifer Biller can be reached at 626-1449 or by e-mail at jbiller@exponent-telegram.com.

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