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Solid waste bounces old tires

Residents who are "tire-d" of one of the area's most common eyesores have 16,448 reasons to celebrate.

The Lawrence-Scioto County Solid Waste District recently completed a project that rid the area of thousands of discarded tires, making the county not only more attractive but also more safe.

The project was made possible thanks to a competitive federal grant obtained by Chuck Yaniko, coordinator for the district.

"It was a big project, we originally had $48,000 from the USDA," Yaniko said.

The funds were used to ship the tires to Cincinnati, where they are being recycled.

Much of the work of collection was handled by individual townships, and the municipal judges of Lawrence and Scioto counties.

"The tires were collected by township trustees, and all we did was coordinate everything and handle the shipping," Yaniko said. "I know, in a lot of cases, they used court workers provided by the two municipal court judges."

Yaniko said the tire problem in Lawrence County is a serious one, which prompted him to ask for the one-time grant funding. The program collected 7,665 tires.

"We've got scrap tires everywhere, part of the reason that we did get the grant is because of the scrap tire problem that we have," Yaniko said.

Although he wasn't sure who was responsible, Yaniko said he suspects some Kentucky businesses have taken to dumping their tires in Lawrence County.

"It's especially in Crabtree Hollow near the Ashland Bridge," Yaniko said.

"You can see where they just drive down that road and someone is just standing in the truck and throwing them off as they drive."

Of course, some of the problem is also rooted in locals not wanting to pay the $1.50 to $2.50 disposal cost for tires.

The problem goes beyond the unsightly quality of unused tires as reducing their number also helps to lower the risk of West Nile Virus and Encephalitis.

"They're just breeding grounds for mosquitoes," Yaniko said. "The water lays in the rings of those tires, they hatch in there and the West Nile Virus issue is a big issue."

Neighboring county Scioto actually eliminated more of those breeding grounds with a final total of 8,783.