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Scrap tire dump with over 2,000 tires cleaned up in Battle Creek, thanks to EGLE grant
June 22, 2022
A massive pile of illegally dumped scrap tires in Battle Creek has been cleaned up, thanks to funding from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) scrap tire grant program.
EGLE, Calhoun County, the City of Battle Creek, and Environmental Rubber joined together to get the site cleaned up after over 2,000 tires had accumulated there since 2005. EGLE first learned of the illegal scrap tire accumulation in 2018 and has been seeking a resolution ever since. These scrap tires have been sheltering pests and contributing to excessive mosquito populations in this area for years, according to neighbors.
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, an environmental quality analyst in EGLE’s Materials Management Division. The actual cleanup took place in early June, when workers loaded the tires into trailers. Two trailers of scrap tires were transported to Environmental Rubber to be processed. Ultimately, the tires were recycled.
Removal of the tires will enable the Calhoun County Treasurer’s Office to sell the property it took ownership of after the owner did not pay taxes.
“The Scrap Tire Program oversees the management of over 7 million scrap tires every year,” Clark added. “Most of those tires get to scrap tire processors through commercial channels or community cleanup events, but occasionally these illegal collection sites pop up and need to be dealt with. We can all walk away from this feeling better knowing that we got a couple thousand tires out of the community.”
For Calhoun County, this project is a major accomplishment. “EGLE has been in contact with me since 2018 about this illegal tire dump,” says Sarah Kelly, lead organizer of Calhoun County’s Sustainability Office. “Finally being able to pull together the resources to get it cleaned up and included in our 2022 Scrap Tire Grant is my prized accomplishment for this year. Matt played a big role as did equipment from both the City of Battle Creek and the Treasurer’s Office contractor. I try to do a project that is community service related every year. Helping contribute to the revitalization of a neighborhood is an amazing feeling.”
The project was made possible with a $4,000 grant from EGLE. Calhoun County also contributed funding for the clean-up.
Groups that helped with the project are EGLE, Calhoun County, Battle Creek Department of Public Works, the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office, and the West Michigan Environmental Action Council.
Caption: Matt Clark of EGLE, Sarah Kelly and other Calhoun County staff, a work crew from the Treasurer’s office, and a volunteer from the West Michigan Environmental Action Council helped with the scrap tire clean-up in Battle Creek. Photo courtesy of Calhoun County.