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Harrison County SWA collects tires for a worthy cause

by Paul Darst

STAFF WRITER

Organizers for the upcoming MCM 2000 race haven't had to look far to find old tires to use as barriers for their race.

All they had to do was take a drive down just about any road in the area to find a truckload of them.

During the past three weeks, the Harrison County Solid Waste Authority has collected 1,300 old tires for the April 29 benefit race for the Genesis Youth Center, said Paul Hamrick, the county's litter control chairman.

"We need about another 1,000," he said. "We've cleaned them up from the roadside areas. I don't think we'll have any trouble finding the rest."

Genesis officials contacted the authority about the project, Hamrick said.

"We were planning to have a spring tire cleanup anyway," he said.

The tires would have gone directly to the Meadowfill Landfill, but now they will make a stop at the race track first, Hamrick said.

The Genesis race will mark the end of a week-long event at Meadowbrook Mall in recognition of Earth Day, which is this Saturday, Hamrick said.

From April 24 through 29, the mall will host environmental displays from local businesses, governmental agencies and schools, he said.

"Our kickoff is 6:30 (p.m.) in front of Sears," he said. "We'll probably have 20 some displays."

Saturday's race at Newpointe Plaza will involve 21 cars, and will be the Genesis Youth Center's major fund-raising event of the year, said Debra Armes, director of development.

Teams comprised of local residents will compete in wheel-to-wheel racing in events all day Saturday, she said. The cars will have 3.5 horsepower engines with one-third scale NASCAR bodies.

The race is free to the public, she said.

After the checkered flag falls for the final time on the April 29, the Solid Waste Authority will haul the 2,500 tires to the landfill, Hamrick said.

Costs will be covered by the authority and the state Division of Environmental Protection, he said.

Although the old tires are needed for the race, Hamrick would rather not have such an easy time finding them along the roadways and in illegal dumps he said.

The authority is not accepting donations for the project, and do not want people to drop off old tires for use in the race, he said.

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