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Vanessa Oceguera

Vanessa Oceguera

Platte County residents with tires they need to dispose of will have their chance to do so legally and for free this weekend.

Keep Columbus Beautiful, a City of Columbus community improvement program and a national affiliate of Keep America Beautiful that focuses on public education and volunteer service related to the quality of life and environmental issues, will host its latest Scrap Tire Collection throughout the next three days.

From 5-8 p.m. Friday, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday and noon-3 p.m. Sunday in the northwest parking lot of Platte County Ag Park, 822 15th St. in Columbus, those who live anywhere in Platte County can stop by and get rid of their tires without having to pay the environmental disposal fee that usually comes with such a service. No rims or dealer tires will be accepted. 

“They drive up, check-in, answer a couple of questions for paperwork and volunteers unload,” KCB Executive Director Vanessa Oceguera said, noting residents will be asked where they’re from, about how much they’re dropping off and what they would have done if the service had not been provided.

That basic information is essential as it goes back to the Nebraska Department of Environment and Energy, which provided about a $28,000 grant to make the program happen again. Names are not asked, people just have to be from Platte County to participate in the event.

KCB’s Scrap Tire Collection has been going on for many years now, but Oceguera said that’s because the need is still there. KCB officials are hoping by offering it that people will not illegally dump tires in random places throughout the county, which Oceguera said still happens.

“They can be kind of a hazard,” she said of big, bulky tires, adding that even scraps from a tire along a highway can pose problems for cars and bikes.

Besides that, she noted, tires contaminate farmland and are a “mosquito haven.” That’s something residents should keep in mind, especially with the East Central District Health Department earlier this week announcing that a single mosquito recently tested positive for West Nile through its mosquito trapping program done in Columbus during the summer.

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“It’s better to keep that mosquito population down,” Oceguera said.

Platte County Board of Supervisors Chairman Jerry Engdahl said he’s supportive of the KCB effort, adding that he would like Platte County residents to utilize the service this weekend.

“I would encourage them to. It’s a great program,” he said, noting it could and should help eliminate the illegal dumping of tires in the area. “I hope it works and that a lot of people take advantage of it.”

Oceguera stressed that it’s important people show up during the allotted times if they want to use the service as only a certain amount of tires can be brought based on the amount of funding available. Having unaccounted for tires dropped off at odd hours could pose problems when officials bring the tires from Columbus to the collection point. With three days and extended hours, residents should have plenty of time to make their way to Ag Park during the collection period.

“We put this event on because tires are one of the things that are fairly hard to get rid of,” Oceguera said.

For questions call 402-563-9223.

Matt Lindberg is the managing editor of The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at matt.lindberg@lee.net.

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Managing Editor

Matt Lindberg is an award-winning journalist and graduate of the University of Kansas.

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