Last week’s state-sponsored tire amnesty pulled in about 18,000 tires locally, according to Clark County Emergency Management Agency Director Gary Epperson said. Epperson also serves as the county’s solid waste coordinator.
The “state equivalent” of the tires was about 18,000 tires, which counts tractor trailer tires as about three passenger car tires. Larger tires can count for as many as five passenger car tires. Epperson said the actual count of tires was around 8,000, with 25 percent of those being tractor trailer and larger tires.
Disposal fees were waived all week in an effort to remove waste tires from the state.
Kentucky produces 7 million waste tires a year, Epperson said. Some people refuse to pay the tire disposal fee, resulting in an increase of waste tires that serve as little more than mosquito breeding grounds.
“We got a lot of waste tires out of Clark County,” he said. “We’ll have less mosquitoes.”
While the removal of tires could help remove their threat as litter and homes for mosquito larvae, they can also be recycled.
“A lot of them are going to be used as waste-to-energy,” Epperson said. “Paper mill companies, they have technology where they can cleanse the smoke and make them acceptable for air quality regulations and suitable to be released.”
Epperson said the tires could also be made into playground mulch.
Most of the tires came from Clark County. Epperson estimated about 99 percent of the tires came from county residents, although there was a large load from¿Montgomery County.
“Some people brought in large loads and others brought in just a couple of tires,” he said.
The Clark County amnesty went six days, which Epperson said made the process easier to handle. Still, if anyone with waste tires missed the amnesty in Clark County, there’s still a chance to unload the old tires without having to pay a disposal fee.
“They’ll do this in Harrison County and Nicholas County in the next couple of weeks,” he said. “If someone missed it here, they can call me and I can set them up to take them somewhere else.”
Epperson can be reached at 745-7415,