Grants awarded to Michigan areas to clean scrap tire sites

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For some people, recycling is a part of the daily routine; like recycling paper or cans, but what about tires?

The state has awarded several grants around the state to clean up scrap tire dumps.

One of the areas is Middle Branch Township in Osceola County, which received $36,000.

Peggy Hoard is the Deputy Clerk for Middle Branch Township, and chairman for the grant. She said the money will be distributed throughout 14 other townships across Osceola and Clare counties.

“Any residents in those areas are able to bring up to seven tires per household, and dispose of them with us at no charge to them or the townships,” Hoard said. “Then, each township will provide a volunteer to unload the tires from the residents’ vehicle and stack them into the semi.”

Hoard said she hopes the grant will allow Middle Brand Township to eliminate the majority of tire scraps in their area.

She said they won’t have a problem cleaning up dumped tires, but there is an issue with “inherited” tire scraps.

“We have quite a number of tires that end up on the roadside, rivers and public land, township properties and state lands,” Hoard said. “We can get those picked up and taken care of, but last year, most of the people that brought their tires in they inherited them when purchased their land. The tires had been left there.”

Hoard said scrap tires can contaminate groundwater, they are an ideal breeding ground for mosquitoes and if they catch fire, they burn for long periods of time.

She said she does plan to apply for a similar grant for another four or five years if all goes as planned this year.

Other scrap tire grants were awarded to organizations in Bay, Emmet, Genesee and Luce counties.

A full list of areas who received grant funding for the elimination of tire scraps can be found at www.michigan.gov/deq.