Delta County’s commitment to recycling goes beyond being professional grade. It is industrial grade.
The commitment to recycling here goes way beyond the highly visible consumer recycling programs at the North Fork Transfer station and the newsprint recycling bin at 4th and Meeker in Delta.
The county landfill collects and regularly processes and reuses mountains of used auto and truck tires disposed of by county residents. The landfill takes tires from local residents at no charge if they have been removed from rims.
The county’s commitment to its used tire recycling program goes far beyond allegiance to “green” causes. It is a common sense, if expensive, approach to the hard-nosed realities of providing a more attractive landscape and a more healthy environment free of mosquito breeding pools in used tires dumped along roadsides.
Last month, landfill manager Kevin Hunt located and rented a massive tire shredder that went to work on a mountain of used tires estimated at between 120,000 and 130,000.
With the menacing auger blades at work inside the mechanical monster, a track hoe operator grappled claw loads full of used rubber and released them into the hopper. Out the other end came a shredded mixture of rubber and steel wire.
At top speed, the tire shredding operation was handling around 1,200 tires per hour, Hunt estimated.
The county’s tire recycling efforts don’t stop there. The shredded mass is stockpiled and used at the landfill in place of soil for the daily cover required by state health regulations.
Commercial operators can charge up to $2 each to dispose of used tires, Hunt noted. That would be a $250,000 disposal bill for the county. Through his previous career contacts in the gravel mining industry, Hunt explained that he was able to get the shredder here for a bargain basement rent of $28,000.
The county’s commitment to tire recycling is completely on its own nickel. It is paid for from the landfill’s account; taxpayer dollars aren’t used in the program. There are no other alternatives to the county’s own program to dispose of used tires itself.
There are supposed to be funds available from the state to defray the county’s cost for recycling tire waste. But, as Hunt points out, he must first haul shredded tires to the scales, weigh them, and then send the state a bill which it will pay only if the General Assembly has determined there is enough money.
The used tire fees that consumers pay at the point of purchase have been spent by state budget meisters on other things in recent years.blog comments powered by Disqus