Growing concerns over the Zika virus has prompted local governments to take an ever-increasing stance against the mosquito population. While the city of Urbana and villages of St. Paris, Mechanicsburg and North Lewisburg have all waged war against the disease-carrying insect in 2016, the battle is far from over.
On Saturday, Oct. 15, the Champaign County Health District will join forces with local governments to hold Scrap Tire Disposal Day from 8 a.m. to noon at the Champaign County Fairgrounds, 384 Park Ave., Urbana.
“The scrap tire day has been created to address the mosquito breeding that often occurs inside tires left outdoors that are holding water,” said Andy Russell, environmental health director of the Champaign Health District. “Frequently, tires are found stored outside creating this habitat and leaving an area that is difficult to maintain vegetation on the property, and also creating an unsightly area that harbors rodents and insects.”
The tire collection is being provided to Champaign County residents free of charge. Any individual who wants to take advantage of the drop-off event must provide proof of residency.
Only passenger, truck, farm and tractor tires will be accepted during the event. Commercial and industrial tires are prohibited.
“We have arranged to have two semitrailers available that day to collect tires, and one more if needed,” Russell said. “Any resident may bring up to 10 tires to the event. If an individual has more than 10 tires, they should contact their local zoning inspector or the Champaign Health District for approval to bring more than 10 tires.”
Participants are asked to enter at the Park Avenue gate. The tire collection area will be staged at the Merlin Woodruff Show Arena.
According to Russell, event organizers are working within a budget of $8,000, with the cost being funded through a portion of the $37,300 mosquito control grant awarded to Champaign County last month by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
Grant funds have also been used to cover mosquito spraying costs in Urbana and in the villages throughout the county, Russell said.
“Informational material has also been created to help educate citizens of how to best protect against mosquito bites and the health concerns with those bites,” he added. “With the rest of the grant money, we have been trapping mosquitoes weekly and sending the collections to the Ohio Department of Health for identification.”
For residents unable to take advantage of the tire recycling event, a list of places to properly dispose of used tires within the county is available on the North Central Ohio Solid Waste District website at www.ncowaste.org.
Volunteers wanted, villages hosting lead-in collections
To ensure the countywide tire recycling event runs as smoothly as possible, organizers are seeking any and all individuals and groups willing to lend a hand.
“Volunteers or civic groups looking for service hours are needed and would be appreciated,” Russell said.
Anyone interested in volunteering is asked to contact the health district at 937-484-1606.
To get a jump-start on collecting scrap tires, Russell said, the villages of Mechanicsburg and North Lewisburg have stepped up to offer their residents a chance to drop off unwanted tires without traveling to Urbana.
Mechanicsburg, with assistance from Goshen Township, is holding a tire recycling event from 8 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Oct. 8, at the village’s street department facility on Mill Street.
In North Lewisburg, the village is offering to collect tires up until the Oct. 15 event. Contact the village office at 937-747-3645.
Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.