A huge pile of scrap tires illegally dumped in Battle Creek has been cleaned up, thanks to funding from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy’s (EGLE) scrap tire grant program.
EGLE, Calhoun County, Battle Creek City and Environmental Rubber joined together to clean up the site after over 2,000 tires had been accumulating there since 2005. EGLE first learned of the illegal scrap tire build-up in 2018 and is seeking an ever-so-so. According to neighbors, these scrap tires have been protecting pests and contributing to the mosquito population in this area for years.
The first step was to organize the tires into working piles near the entrance to the property at 661 West Hamblin Avenue in Battle Creek, says Matt Clark, environmental quality analyst in EGLE’s Department of Materials Management. The actual cleanup took place in early June, when workers loaded the tires into trailers. Two trailers of scrap tires were taken to the Environmental Rubber Company for processing. In the end, the tires were recycled.
Removing the tires will enable the Calhoun County Treasurer’s Office to sell property it acquired after the owner did not pay taxes.
“The Scrap Tire Program manages more than 7 million scrap tires annually,” Clark added. “Most of these tires get scrap tire handlers through commercial channels or community cleaning events, but sometimes these illegal collecting sites come up and need to deal with. We can all get away with that feeling better knowing we’ve got a few thousand tires from society.”
For Calhoun County, this project is a major achievement. “EGLE has been in touch with me since 2018 about this illegal tire dump,” says Sarah Kelly, the lead organizer for the Calhoun County Office of Sustainability. “Finally, being able to pool the resources to clean it up and include it in the scrap tire grant 2022 is my precious achievement for the year. Matt played a huge role as did the equipment from the city of Battle Creek and the treasurer’s office contractor. I try to do a community service project every year. Help out Contributing to the revitalization of the neighborhood is a wonderful feeling.”
The project was implemented with a grant of $4,000 from EGLE. Calhoun County also contributed funding for the cleanup.
Groups that assisted with the project are EGLE, Calhoun County, Battle Creek Department of Public Works, Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, and Western Michigan Environmental Work Council.
explained: EGLE’s Matt Clark, Sarah Kelly, other Calhoun County employees, staff from the Treasury Office, and a volunteer from the Western Michigan Environmental Work Council helped clean up scrap tires in Battle Creek. Image courtesy of Calhoun County.