The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

Local News

July 6, 2010

County’s tire recycling effort salvaged by grant

A state grant has given new life to an Ashtabula County tire recycling program scrapped in April for lack of funds.

The $15,000 tire amnesty grant, issued through the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, will help the county study ways to recycle old tires and probably revive the collection program shelved this year, officials said. The program could return in 2011, Janice Switzer, of the county’s Solid Waste District, said in a statement.

Ashtabula County had collected scrap tires for 15 consecutive years until budget cuts spelled its doom.

Grants were given to 28 projects across Ohio geared to scrap tire recycling and clean-up efforts, State Rep. Deborah Newcomb, D-Conneaut, said in a statement. The program is funded through a fee added to the cost of new tires at the point of purchase, she said.

Ashtabula County, like so many counties across the state, need help in dealing with scrap tires, said Bob Large, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency official who oversees the state’s scrap tire removal efforts. The ODNR is looking at a site in the Ashtabula area that contains an estimated 40,000 tires, he said.

“The tire amnesty program should have some effect (on dump clean-up work),” he said recently.

A few years ago, the Ohio EPA worked with a Monroe Township landowner to remove tens of thousands of tires on her property. Today, the state is zeroing in on smaller dumps, Large said.

“The focus is on smaller sites, and by smaller I mean 2,000 tires and less,” he said.

It’s believed 2 million scrap tires still sit in illegal dumps in Ohio, Large said.

A half-dozen local businesses accept additional tires for recycling, Switzer said in a statement. According to the Solid Waste District’s Web site, they are:

Super Tread, 346 Buffalo St., Conneaut (599-7662); GCR Tire Center, 4323 Main Ave., Ashtabula (993-8566); Lou’s Tire Mart, 4718 Main Ave., Ashtabula (998-0080); PymaTuning and Tire, 400 N. Main St., Andover (293-7121); Busch Automotive, 87 W. Ashtabula St., Jefferson (576-1971); and Dusty and Steve’s, 2705 E. Center St. (Route 20), North Kingsville (224-0659).

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