Rubber hits the road at tire recycling event

Joe Gamm/News Tribune
Randy Boeckman, left, a Cole County employee, lifts a small tractor tire from a utility trailer to load onto a tractor trailer as Ron Maxwell of ABC Tire watches. Mid-Missouri Solid Waste Management District held a tire collection event Saturday morning at the Cole County Public Works facility on Monticello Road.
Joe Gamm/News Tribune Randy Boeckman, left, a Cole County employee, lifts a small tractor tire from a utility trailer to load onto a tractor trailer as Ron Maxwell of ABC Tire watches. Mid-Missouri Solid Waste Management District held a tire collection event Saturday morning at the Cole County Public Works facility on Monticello Road.

It had been a long time since there had been a tire-recycling event in Cole County.

At least 10 years, as far as organizers of Saturday's tire collection could remember.

Starting early in the morning, people hauled tires in to the Cole County Public Works facility at 5055 Monticello Road for a Mid-Missouri Solid Waste Management District (MMSWMD) collection. People brought in tires of every size imaginable.

Staff loaded small tires by hand, but large tractor tires required a Bobcat to move.

Elise Buchheit, district manager for the MMSWMD, said Cole County is one of only eight counties in the district. Even so, her research indicated the district had not hosted a Cole County collection since before 2014.

"I wasn't able to find it out. It's been at least a few years," Buchheit said. "We do collections throughout the district."

ABC Tire, a tire-recycling company based in Springfield, brought two tractor-trailers to the dropoff site. At the end of the day, ABC was to haul the tires to Springfield.

Ron Maxwell, who has been employed at ABC Tire for 20 years, said it's not a big deal to bring tractor-trailers to a tire drop.

"We pick up Walmart and Firestone. We pick up at Warehouse Tires. We leave a trailer there (Warehouse Tires in Jefferson City) and come and pick it up when it's full," Maxwell said. "There are seven of us. We pick up 14,000 to 15,000 tires a day."

Tires just seem to accumulate on people's property, especially if they have land, Buchheit said. Customers can take a couple back to a tire store and pay a recycling fee at the store. But if someone has more than a few tires, ridding themselves of them can be really cumbersome," she said.

That's why the MMSWMD works with companies like ABC Tire, which accepts about any tire. There was a $2 fee Saturday for small or passenger vehicle tires and a $10 fee for heavy truck or tractor tires.

"They shred the tires. Some of them become recycled-tire products," Buchheit said. "Some become tire-derived fuel. But all of them are kept out of the landfill."

Buchheit said it's important to give people an opportunity to dispose of tires properly, so they don't end up in our waterways, ditches and roadways.

"We're going to give people an opportunity to get rid of those old tires that have been sitting around," Buchheit said. "It's especially difficult to get rid of those bigger tractor tires. If you're not running a giant farm conglomerate, it's just hard to get rid of those."

Larry Hollis towed a goose-neck livestock trailer filled with tires from Maries County to Jefferson City for the event. He said he owns and farms about 1,100 acres and leases another 500.

"They're just farm tires that have been laying around for a long time," Hollis said. "There's twenty-some on there. There are a lot of little ones on there -- wagon, implement and trailer tires."

  photo  Joe Gamm/News Tribune Ron Maxwell, right, of ABC Tire responds to a colleague during a tire-collection event Saturday morning. Mid-Missouri Solid Waste Management District held the event Saturday at the Cole County Public Works facility on Monticello Road. A Bobcat was necessary to load some of the bigger tires received during the collection.
 
 
  photo  Joe Gamm/News Tribune Larry Borts stands near two of the six large tractor tires he dropped off Saturday morning at the Cole County Public Works facility on Monticello Road. Borts said his son wears out the tires in tractor pulls. He said he just rolled the tires onto the trailer.