Tire collection returns in April
GUEST COLUMN by Bob Ehle, Jr. – Director of Cass County Solid Waste Management District
And now to answer one of the most frequently asked questions: When will you begin to accept tires? I’m pleased to report that it won’t be much longer.
In fact, we are going to begin a couple of weeks earlier this year. This program is for Cass County residents and farmers only; not for businesses. We will begin taking tires, by appointment only, on Wednesday April 1. Just contact the office to set up a time to bring the tires to our warehouse. This program will be in place until at least the end of July or until the appointments significantly slow down, so don’t be concerned if you are unable to get them to us right away.
This is an expensive program for us to run, and since we do not receive any tax money, or have a user fee, there are two ways you can help. The first is simply by making a donation when you drop off tires. The second is with the fee
schedule the Solid Waste Board has approved, and the one which is unchanged from the past two years.
Here is how the program works: The first ten (10), car or small truck tires for Cass County residents and farmers are free. After that, there is a $2.00 charge per tire, with no limit. Semi tires are $5.00 each, with no limit. Tractor tires are $15.00 each for the first four (4) and $30.00 each for tires five through a limit of ten (10). While this fee schedule did not cover our costs the past two years, it has helped. And especially when it comes to car tires, most people do not have more than ten tires to bring in, so for those people, there is no charge.
As a little background, the District had conducted a tire amnesty day on a Saturday for years. However, this five day a week collection has been a lot more convenient for people, especially farmers who may have been in the field on that one day. Running it out of the warehouse, at 518 High Street, has also allowed us to control some costs, because we can now just call for a semi to be moved, and another put in, when it’s full.
Last year we loaded four semis, and would anticipate about the same volume this year. So simply call the office (574) 732-9253, to schedule an appointment to drop off tires, beginning April 1st
We are also attempting to reach out to the business community, with our fluorescent tube collection. We are accepting these four (4) and eight (8) foot tubes from businesses for recycling, for a small fee. As a matter of fact, we
recently collected close to 500 tubes from a local business and had them recycled. This small fee, which would likely save businesses some money, simply allows us to recover our costs.
If you want any information on the specifics of the program, please contact the office, and I will be happy to go over them with you.
We are continuing to collect electronics at our warehouse by appointment five days a week. We reached well over 100,000 pounds of e-waste collected last year, and hope to be close to 200,000 pounds this year.
One concern districts throughout the state are dealing with centers on partially recycled televisions that are being brought to them. The vendors we work with generally charge district to accept CRT televisions and monitors, because of the four to eight pounds of lead and other hazardous material in them. Therefore when we give them televisions that have essentially had “the good stuff” removed, they are losing money on them.
The CCSWMD Board, in working with our vendor, RecycleForce, is looking into the most viable and cost-effective way to handle both the partially scrapped televisions and the CRT’s. My advice would be this: If you are going to take
anything from a television, and sell that product to someone, then you need to be responsible for the proper disposal of the remainder of the unit.
Electronics can’t be taken to the landfill, so the proper disposal may be to bring them to the district and pay a small fee to have the remaining product taken care of. A district from this region charges $10.00 for the small televisions that have been scrapped, and $20.00 for the larger ones.
Because of the cost of recycling both the partially scrapped televisions, and even the CRT televisions and monitors that are intact, there is the potential that we will need to implement some type of fee structure in the future, just to cover the costs that a vendor will pass along to us. That has not happened yet.
Speaking of electronics…we will have a special collection on Saturday, April 18th from 9-Noon, by the Walton Town Hall. We will also have a collection of old or expired medications at that time. I’ll send out a press release outlining that event, early next month.