By NIKKI YOUNK
CRYSTAL FALLS - Residents of Crystal Falls and three surrounding townships will have the opportunity to dispose of their old tires at reduced prices, thanks to a Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) grant.
Nikki Younk/Daily News Photo
Crystal Falls City Manager Dorothea Olson displays a pile of old tires collected by the city that will be disposed of during the upcoming scrap tire cleanup event. Residents of Crystal Falls, Crystal Falls Township, Mansfield Township, and Hematite Township can bring their old tires to the Bristol Mine on June 7 and pay a reduced fee to have them hauled away and recycled.
The one-day collection event will take place rain or shine from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 7 at the Bristol Mine.
Crystal Falls City Manager Dorothea Olson believes that scrap tire piles have been a real problem in the area.
"I started going around, taking a different route to work every day, and most days counted more than 30 tires just lying around," she said.
Discarded tires are not just unsightly.
Olson pointed out that tires can hold stagnant water and generate heat in the sun, providing prime breeding grounds for mosquitos. They can also be a fire hazard, she said.
Along with Crystal Falls Township, Mansfield Township, and Hematite Township, the city of Crystal Falls submitted a scrap tire cleanup grant application to the DEQ last fall. Olson also asked the county to apply, so there would be even more grant money available for the participating municipalities to use.
Each municipality, including the county, was recently approved for a $3,000 award.
The five separate grants will be put together into one $15,000 grant for the June 7 collection event hosted by the city of Crystal Falls.
Grant funds will pay $1.25 toward the disposal of every passenger tire up to 34 inches, $6.25 for every truck tire between 34 and 44 inches, and $18.75 for every farm tractor tire larger than 44 inches.
With the $15,000, up to 12,000 passenger tires could be collected during the one-day event.
Olson noted that since the grant is a reimbursement grant, any money not used will revert back to the state.
"The success of this event really depends on people taking the initiative to bring their tires in," she said.
The event is only open to residents of the four municipalities that received grants: the city of Crystal Falls, Crystal Falls Township, Mansfield Township, and Hematite Township. Volunteers from each municipality will be at the collection site to check identification.
Residents will still have to pay a small fee to dispose of their tires.
Charges are 50 cents for each passenger tire, $2.50 for each truck tire, and $7.50 for each tractor tire.
"The fee we're charging is to offset what's not covered by the grant," Olson explained. "At 50 cents a tire, it's an awesome opportunity."
Great American Disposal will haul all of the collected tires away for recycling.
Anyone who plans on bringing more than 50 tires to the event should contact Olson ahead of time at (906) 875-3212.
Nikki Younk's e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.