DONIPHAN, MO – Big Springs Resource Conservation and Development Council recently received a Missouri Department of Natural Resources grant to help clean up dumped tires on Mark Twain National Forest.
The grant from Missouri Department of Natural Resources’ Solid Waste Management Program will focus on cleaning up Mark Twain National Forest around Ripley, Shannon and Carter Counties.
Raben Tire, Poplar Bluff, has partnered with Mark Twain National Forest and Missouri Department of Natural Resources and will be handling the collected tires for recycling.
Missouri citizens generate an estimated five million scrap tires a year; many wind up discarded on public lands.
“An environment free of scrap tires is important to public health and the environment,” said Mark Twain National Forest Eleven Point District Ranger Tim Bond. “Scrap tires harbor mosquitoes and snakes. Many disease carrying pests flourish in the stagnant water that collects inside tires.”
Chief culprits are mosquitoes that can carry deadly diseases such as the West Nile virus and encephalitis.
There are other, less visible costs.
“Dumped tires also contaminate our soils and waterway systems, are toxic to plants and wildlife, and then there’s the loss of aesthetic beauty,” Bond said.
“One of our organization’s objectives is to restore, improve, and protect the quality of the environment,” said Big Springs Resource Conservation and Development Council Manager Becky Paxton. “This is a worthwhile project because it will help reduce dumped tires on Mark Twain National Forest on three counties in our district.”
Recycled tires are used as fuel; they are also recycled into products such as rubber-modified asphalt on Missouri highways.
Mark Twain National Forest is the largest public land manager in Missouri with 1.5 million acres in 29 counties in southern and central Missouri. Mark Twain National Forest’s mission is to continue to restore Missouri’s natural communities and maintain a healthy, working forest.