Keep rollin', rollin', rollin'!
Though the streams are swollen
Keep them [old tars] rollin'!
What is The Planet getting at here (except for the fact it is [barely] old enough to remember when Clint Eastwood was young, dreamy and on TV)? Right! It's old tire roundup time. This Saturday, Jan. 12, is Dade's long-awaited Tire Amnesty Day.
Amnesty hours, during which residents may get rid of their scrap tires for free, are from 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at the Dade County Transfer Station at 974 Sunset Drive. Only 20 tires are permitted per household, and tire dumpers must be able to prove Dade residency. Only regular car and truck tires (20-inch-size or smaller) will be accepted, no big tractor-trailer tires. Tires must be off the rim and not filled with dirt or rocks.
Clint kept them dogies rollin'...
Through rain and wind and weather
Hell bent for leather
....despite pining for all the things he was missin' (good vittles, love and kissin'); but Dade's Amnesty Day will be rescheduled to the next Saturday, Jan. 19, if it rains or snows. As of this writing, nothing worse is called for this Saturday than a light afternoon rain, but District 4 Commissioner Allan Bradford, who organized the Amnesty event, will doubtless alert local media should he opt to postpone. Watch this space!
Anyone who follows the local news, or looks out the car window occasionally, will know that illegally dumped tires are a huge problem in Dade. County Commission Executive Chairman Ted Rumley said at Thursday night's commission meeting that the Georgia Environmental Protection Division is in the county three or four times a week about it. Old tires lying around the landscape are not just unsightly, they fill up with water and are breeding grounds for mosquitos.
Why do people dump them? Because it costs money to dispose of them properly. The Planet called the transfer station and was cited a $6.75-per-tire fee. Multiply times four for a whole set. Multiply by hundreds or thousands for a dealer who sells new tires, puts them on the rim and gets stuck with the old ones to get rid of. Chairman Rumley speculates that some of these dealers slip a buck or two per tire to people with trucks and no scruples to drive into Dade at midnight and dump them where nobody's looking.
If you see a truck like that, said the county boss: “Jot the tag number down and call the sheriff... Don’t feel bad about turning someone in like that, because it’s the only way to stop it.” The sheriff's number is (423) 657-3233, or just call 911 if you can't remember that.
Another indication of the magnitude of the tire problem, and the fact that it's not just in Dade, is that the EPD has an entire "Tire Management Unit" to deal with it. These Tire Amnesty Days, funded by eco-grants, are one way the EPD copes.
Americans have been driving cars for over 100 years now, tires usually need changing out every couple of years, and that's a lot of tires to get rid of. Tires are a mega-challenge garbage-wise. They're big and bulky and take up a lot of room in landfills, but they're made to withstand the road so they don't decompose very well.
Furthermore, tires trap methane gas which can make them bubble to the surface like those mini-marshmallows in your hot chocolate, or buried ax murderers in horror movies. This bubble effect can damage landfill liners designed to keep garbage contaminants from leaking into groundwater.
The usual way of making tires go away is to burn them, which by all accounts is a horrible eventuality for human health. Some progress is being made finding uses for recycled tires. They are used in some concrete and asphalt production, or ground up on site to make backfill or cap material for landfills. Here in Dade, at a recent county commission meetings, parks boss Stacy Stephen discussed using rubber mulch made of old tires for the Four Fields playground. But he ruled it out because of cost, and that's where most tire recycling efforts remain today.
Perhaps in the future, recycling will be a more viable option. For now, though, if you're burdened with a landscape littered with old tires gifted to you by illegal dumpers, don't try to understand 'em, just throw and rope and brand 'em. Or anyway round 'em up. Saturday is your chance to get shed of at least 20 of them.
So, as the song, says...
Move 'em on, head 'em up
Head 'em up, move 'em on...
Cut 'em out, ride 'em in
Ride 'em in, cut 'em out!
Keep them old tars rollin' to the dump on Saturday! The Planet will see you there.