Residents in the unincorporated areas of the County brought in nearly 3500 used tires during free recycling events in 2010. Events were held in Fallbrook, Spring Valley, Lakeside and Ramona. The recycled tire material is used for playgrounds, as a base for synthetic turf, and paving County roadways. Rubberized asphalt concrete is quieter and lasts longer. It's truly a case of "where the rubber becomes the road."
Since the State banned disposal of whole tires at landfills in California in 1993, the County of San Diego has offered amnesty days and public education for recycling and disposal of tires funded partially through state grants.
“This is a great way for people turn a problem into something useful,” said County Supervisor Dianne Jacob. “Instead of filling up landfills, these old tires will be shredded and re-used to top our roads and create safe mulch for gardens and playgrounds.”
Illegally abandoned tires continue to be a problem on County roadways and throughout the rural areas of the unincorporated area - especially in the Tijuana River Valley where hundreds of old tires have been recovered during a series of weekend cleanups. Tires are an excellent breeding environment for mosquitoes - a known vector for West Nile virus, malaria, and encephalitis. In addition, the threat of fire and further illegal dumping is always a critical concern in the region.
Residents are typically allowed to recycle up to nine tires per vehicle. Tires must be reasonably clean and free of excessive dirt or other foreign matter. Inside tire diameter size is limited to 16.5 inches. Tires mounted on rims, large truck tires and tires from business or commercial sources are not normally accepted without prior arrangements. Additional information is available by calling the County's Recycling and Household Hazardous Waste Department at 1-877-R-1-EARTH (1-877-713-2784).
These one-day events are sponsored by the County of San Diego Recycling Program and a grant from the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle ) with additional support from the the various community organizations and school districts where the recycling events are held.
Watch for future free tire recycling events in 2011.