Keeping tires and electronics out of landfills will be the goal of the Highland County Community Action Organization’s Saturday morning collection event at their offices at 1487 N. High St. in Hillsboro.
Clint Davis, the coordinator of Highland County’s recycling and litter prevention program for HCCAO, said the collection will be from 8 a.m. to noon.
“It’s for the general public only, not for businesses or organizations,” he said. “With tires, the first five per vehicle from cars and light trucks are free and then only a $3 charge each after that.”
He said there is a higher charge for each larger tire brought in, ranging from $10 for large truck tires, $35 for farm tractor tires and $50 for over the road loader tires.
Rims may be left on the tires, he said, but state law prohibits more than 10 tires being brought in per vehicle at a time unless a person has registered with the EPA.
Popular Mechanics magazine reported that 26 percent of used tires in the U.S. are ground into filler for asphalt and insulation, while 11 percent end up in a landfill where it may take hundreds of years for it to decompose.
The publication said that 14 percent are used for civil engineering purposes or playground surfaces, but that almost half are burned for fuel since tire rubber has more heating energy, but burns dirtier than coal.
Tire recycling has become a major success story, according to the tire industry, with the number of stockpiled scrap tires shrinking from over a billion in 1991 to around 60 million two years ago.
Davis said that once the tires are loaded and leave Hillsboro, they are shipped to Sundown Tire Recycling in Piketon to be broken down for reuse.
Another item that ends up in landfills by the millions is electronics, or e-waste, Davis said, and it will also be collected during the Saturday morning event.
“One of the problems with e-waste is the heavy metals found in circuit boards,” he said. “But the other side of that is that there is value in them in that there are things that can be reused like the copper and silver in the electronics and other things that can be recovered to make new things.”
Metropolitan Detroit recycler Mayer Metals reported that only 10 percent of cell phones are recycled in the United States, and that most Americans get a new cell phone every 12 to 18 months, which they say is creating more electronic waste.
The company said that computers and other electronics contain toxic materials such as lead, zinc, nickel, cadmium, barium, and chromium, and that lead used in the solder can damage human blood and kidneys, as well as the central and peripheral nervous systems if allowed into the environment.
Mayer Metals went on to say that Guiyu, China is the largest e-waste disposal site in that nation and possibly the world, receiving shipments of toxic e-waste from all over the globe, and that many of the residents exhibit substantial digestive, neurological, respiratory and bone problems, in addition to the fact the village is so heavily polluted the soil and water aren’t safe.
“One of the things we focus on is the old TVs and old computer monitors,” Davis said. “Those things are full of leaded glass and we’re trying to keep them from being tossed out on the side of a road or ending up in a private dump, and we want to encourage people to bring those in so they can be disposed of properly.”
He said that CRTs, which are cathode ray tubes or the “picture tube” in old television sets and computer monitors, used to be ground up to manufacture other CRT’s. But with the advent of LED and plasma TVs and monitors, those older devices are sent to Adams-Brown Recycling in Georgetown, which in turn ships them to Green Wave Computer Recycling in Indianapolis for recycling or refurbishment.
Other smaller electronic items are given to the Leesburg boy scouts, Davis said, where they disassemble them into component parts and take them to Cohen Recycling in Washington Court House or Sardinia, with the money realized from the sale to Cohen being reinvested back into the local scout troop.
In addition to Saturday’s tire and e-waste collection, Davis said there are 10 recycling drop-off bins located throughout Highland County so residents can keep their glass bottles and jars, plastic bottles and jugs, metal cans, and paper and cardboard from ending up in a landfill.
“The benefits of recycling are two fold,” he said. “We’re helping to divert waste from going to a landfill, and the other benefit is it helps to conserve other resources — it takes a lot of time and energy to make aluminum so by recycling our pop cans we can help with that, and the same with oil used for plastics or trees to make paper and cardboard.”
For the locations of the recycling bins, a complete breakdown of what are and are not acceptable items for recycling, and for additional information on Saturday’s recycling event, go to the Highland County Community Action Organization website at www.hccao.org/recycle.
Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.