Recycling event targets tires, West Nile virus |

Recycling event targets tires, West Nile virus

Jeff Himler
Getty Images
A patterned stack of automobile tires

Area residents can rid themselves of potentially harmful scrap tires at a reduced price on Saturday.

Unity-based Westmoreland Cleanways will knock $1 off its normal fees for recycling worn tires in an effort to get them out of backyard scrap piles, where they can fill with rainwater and serve as a breeding ground for mosquitoes that might spread West Nile virus.

In its second year, the special collection is co-sponsored by the Westmoreland Conservation District’s West Nile virus program, which is underwriting the dollar discount through a grant. Last year’s recycling event brought in 476 tires from 18 different municipalities across the county.

The discount will be available from 8:30 a.m. until noon Saturday at the Westmoreland Cleanways Recycling Center, in Building F at 113 Innovative Lane, off Route 30. The fee for a passenger car or light truck tire that has been removed from the rim will be $2, instead of the usual $3, during the event.

One scrap tire can become the home for hundreds of mosquitoes, according to the conservation district. An old tire also can pollute soil and water, when the oils, chemicals and heavy metals it contains break down and leach into the environment, conservation officials note.

Westmoreland County had one of the worst seasons last year for West Nile virus infections, with damp, humid conditions adding to the problem, according to Chelsea Gross, the conservation district’s West Nile virus program technician.

“The more humid it is, the more quickly the virus will replicate in the bird and mosquito population,” Gross said.

Last year, she collected 67 mosquito samples in Westmoreland that tested positive for the virus, up from just 16 in 2017. In each year, one human infection was documented in the county.

“With the weather we had last year, we had a really bad West Nile season,” she said. “If it repeats, it could potentially be another bad year.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, most people who are infected with the West Nile virus don’t experience symptoms. About one in 150 develop a severe illness affecting the central nervous system, such as encephalitis or meningitis.

Businesses are not eligible for the recycling discount. Groups cleaning up tires from illegal dump sites must register with the 2019 Great American Cleanup of PA to receive free tire recycling at the Cleanways center.

Jeff Himler is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jeff at 724-836-6622, [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Local | Westmoreland
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.