Have tires to throw away?

SAN BENITO — The Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council will pick up tires for recycling next month as part of the Regional Tire Collection program.

Since its inception, the LRGVDC has collected and properly disposed of more than 30,000 tires in the Valley.

There will be four collection sites in Cameron County and three locations in Willacy County.

They will accept up to four tires per resident at no charge with proof of residency such as a water bill or a driver’s license.

According to Marcie Oviedo, the director of regional planning, any more tires than four and they would be considered a business.

Residents don’t have to leave their tires at the collection sites in their city, but as long as they have proof of being Valley residents, they can drop off their tires.

Proper disposal of tires include taking them to landfills and paying the charge for them to be accepted, but this is not always the case.

Oviedo said tires were being thrown in roads, ditches and residential areas.

“We are mainly doing this because of the concerns of illegally dumped tires,” Oviedo said.

So far, LRGVDC has only had two collection dates but in that time they have been able to collect and properly dispose of tens of thousands of tires that would have otherwise been littered around town.

Not only do illegally-dumped tires become an eye sore, but Oviedo said it can also become a health hazard.

“Mostly, we are trying to inform the public of the hazards of illegally dumping tires,” Oviedo said.

According to the website, scrap tire piles are vulnerable to catching on fire and affecting the air quality and can serve as a breeding ground for rodents.

Oviedo said the LRGVDC is looking to find funding to expand this project or find other ways to clean up the street.

Illegally dumped tires have been a problem for the lower Valley, causing major cities to work together to put on this program that was launched in the spring.

Three rounds of collections were organized with the first two collections being in June and July.

The next collection date is slated for Oct. 7.