Illegal tire dumping has become an ongoing problem in Amarillo and public health officials are concerned. Mosquitoes are known to be prevalent in areas that contain stagnant water and abandoned tires are a perfect receptacle to allow mosquitoes to breed. According to public health officials, the illegal dumping of used tires has become a public health concern as mosquitoes that are known to spread disease including the much publicized Zika virus lay eggs in the stagnant water trapped within the tires. City officials have come together to discuss a plan for recycling unwanted tires. To date the city has spent approximately thirty-three thousand dollars of the thirty-six thousand dollar budget that has been set aside to recycle tires. Solid Waste officials indicate that they have just tapped the tip of the iceberg and are hoping for additional grant money to arrive so they can continue the cleanup effort.
According to officials, once the grant money arrives, the city will be asking for volunteers along with other organizations in the community to band together and help with a tire clean-up program. While a member of the public can take an unwanted tire to a tire store to be properly disposed of, it does cost money and can be as much as $9.00, depending on the size of the tire. City officials are hard at work discussing the necessary steps that will need to be taken to recycle tires around the city along with working on finding out who is contributing to the illegal dumping of tires.
Help has arrived in the form of a joint tire cleanup effort between the city of Amarillo and a local nonprofit community organization called 791 City to organize a tire drive. The tire cleanup effort was made possible through grant funding from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality in conjunction with the Panhandle Regional Planning Commission. The grant will cover the costs of delivery to four shipping containers, transportation and the recycling of the tires.
The city of Amarillo will begin the citywide neighborhood scrap tire drop-off program beginning Saturday June 4th, 2016. A shipping container will be placed at locations around the city for residents to drop off used tires free of charge. The city will provide employees to load the tires into the shipping containers. Residents are encouraged to bring their old tires along with any illegally dumped tires to the drop-off sites on the appropriate dates. The drop-off sites will be operational between the hours of 8:00 am thorough 3:00 pm
The tire cleanup project is part of a proactive initiative that is outlined in the blueprint for Amarillo, a set of priorities that has been endorsed by the City Council.
The tire collection locations and dates are as follows:
• Saturday June 4th: Former North Branch YMCA, 1330 NW 18th
• Saturday June 11th: Recycling Center, 601 S. Western (Blue Water Tower Alley)
• Saturday June 18th. City Transfer Station, 811 SE 27th (26th St. & Hayes Service Entrance)
• Saturday June 25th. Martin Road Park parking lot, 1101 Martin Road, Table #9, North of Dale Street
Some restrictions and reminders apply including:
• Do not leave any tires at the assigned sites either before of after the scheduled dates and times of operations
• Do not drop off any heavy equipment or construction tires
• A 10-tire limit will be accepted from each individual, vehicle and city address
• Tires only, no wheels or rims will be accepted
If you witness the illegal dumping of tires, contact the Amarillo Police Department at (806) 378-3038 immediately. If it is safe to do so, make a note of the vehicle tag number along with a description of the vehicle and its occupants when reporting the issue to police.