By Sheila Schimpf
Capital News Service
The round-up of scrap tires, known to be both fire and mosquito hazards, is the goal of almost $1 million in state grants awarded recently by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ).
The $983,244 will go to 65 applicants throughout the state, and most of them will hold community scrap tire drop-off events.
Kirsten Clemens, the DEQ scrap tire coordinator, said the state generates 10 million scrap tires a year. “We hope they go to an appropriate end use or disposal,” she said, but too many end up in ditches and abandoned buildings.
In Dickinson County, three cities and two townships in the Dickinson County Solid Waste Authority joined forces to seek a grant. “We had applied the last couple years trying to get the area cleaned up,” Kingsford City Manager Tony Edlebeck said. “Last year was the first year the five of us received grants. It seemed to work very well.”
This year all five communities got grants:
- Breitung Township–$4,000
- Iron Mountain–$2,000
- Kingsford — $8,000
- Norway –$4,000
- Norway Township –$4,000
Residents of the five areas will be able to take tires to the transfer station in Quinnesec, Edlebeck said.
The residents won’t be charged for the disposal of the tires and the municipalities will get $2 for each passenger car tire and $5 for each truck tire, plus a fee to be determined by each municipality for transporting the tires to a processing facility. The money will come from the grant.
“We’re working together,” Edlebeck said. “We may be sharing resources this year so we can get the Dickinson County area to work together to clean the whole area up.”
The Marquette County Solid Waste Management Authority got a $40,000 grant.
Brad Austin, the director of the authority, said it would sponsor community tire days in six to eight locations.
“We are going after all the scrap tires we can in Marquette County,” he said.
The authority splits the tires in half and uses them to hold down plastic landfill covers.
It has applied for another grant to buy a tire shredder. The shredded tires could be used as a daily landfill cover, required by law, Austin said. Now the authority sprays a type of mulch or sand, he said.
“We want to get all the scrap tires out of the woods and out of the water,” he said.
The DEQ said scrap tires can be used in asphalt to pave roads, for energy recovery and as garden mulch, among other uses.