Manistee County tire collection deemed a big success

ONEKAMA — Anyone passing by the Manistee County Fairgrounds on Saturday in Onekama saw why it was necessary to hold a scrap tire clean-up event in Manistee

Almost 1,800 old tires were properly disposed of at the Manistee County Fairgrounds on Saturday thanks to a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Scrap Tire Cleanup Grant.

Almost 1,800 old tires were properly disposed of at the Manistee County Fairgrounds on Saturday thanks to a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Scrap Tire Cleanup Grant.

County.

Cars were lined up for the first of two events down the length of Jones Road on the side of the fairgrounds as volunteers conducted the collection, thanks to a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality Scrap Tire Clean-up grant. Local residents had the opportunity to dispose of 10 tires per vehicle under the program at a cost of $1 per tire.

However, what Manistee County recycling coordinator Sarah Archer couldn’t believe was the number of people who brought in tires during what was supposed to be a four-hour collection from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. She said it really showed the need for a program of this type in Manistee County.

“We did way better than we ever thought,” said Archer. “It was a good and bad thing as we filled both of our semi trailers just before noon, so we had to close the event two hours early. Our best estimation is we did almost 1,800 tires.”

Archer said they hated to turn people away, but the grant only covered the two semi-trailers.

“I had to stand down at Jones Road and M-22 and turn them around,” she said. “I did take a tally of how many tires people still wanted to bring us and there was still another 400 tires we cold have taken if we had room.”

Being the first time they tried this type of event, Archer said they initially didn’t know what to expect. However, there is another event planned for Oct. 13 at the fairgrounds, so anyone who didn’t get the chance to dispose of tires on Saturday will get another opportunity then.

“It was our first event that we had county-wide that anyone can ever remember,” said Archer.  “So I am going to learn from the this event and try to touch base with the Department of Environmental Quality on Monday to see if there is any way we can get an amendment to our grant and get a third trailer for our October event.”

Archer said if that doesn’t work she has another option.

“I don’t know if that will happen or not, but our next grant application for next year is due next week, so I will be asking for more trailers than this year,” said Archer.

Archer said by doing the volume they did with Saturday’s collection it definitely gave them the documentation that there still is a big need for this program in the future.

“I don’t think it will be anytime soon that we wouldn’t be at that level for needing an extra trailer because everyone kept telling us they had more,” said Archer.

Archer said it wouldn’t have been possible without the assistance of the volunteers. Those volunteers also included five students from Bear Lake Schools who gave up part of their Saturday to assist in the collection.

“Our volunteers were going non-stop, and those students were really in there working hard,” said Archer. “It was hard work and dirty work, but those students did a great job. We could have not done it without all of those volunteers and we could use another 10 volunteers to give those people a break.”

Archer said anyone wanting to volunteer for the Oct. 13 pickup would be greatly appreciated. People should contact Manistee County Recycles at (855) 246-9376 or kaela@iriswastediversion.com to sign up.

“We sure could use some extra bodies at that upcoming event now that we have been through one,” said Archer. “The fair board was also great to work with on this event and it definitely was a coordinated effort.”

Due to the type of grant that Manistee County was awarded for the program, tires were only accepted from individuals and not from businesses and commercial farms. Archer reminded people when they bring in the tires in October to knock out as much of the dirt and water from them as they can.

Disposing of scrap tires properly is important for several reasons. When stored outdoors tires trap rain making them breeding grounds for mosquitoes and they also become a fire hazard.

Tires that were collected at Saturday’s event were taken by CM Rubber Technologies which uses recycled tires to manufacture environmentally friendly products including landscaping mulch, playgroup surfacing, various mats, drain field aggregate and equestrian footing.

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Posted by Ken Grabowski

Ken is News Advocate’s education reporter. He coordinates coverage for all Manistee County schools and West Shore Community College. He can be reached by phone at (231) 398-3125 or by email at kgrabowski@pioneergroup.com.

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