Residents of Oswego County will be able to dispose of old tires at free events coming up May 17 and June 14.
The events are being held in an effort to help people get rid of waste tires, which often act as breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitoes. Mosquitoes can transmit Eastern equine encephalitis, which killed a New Haven girl in 2010.
Oswego County residents will be able to drop off a maximum of eight tires at five locations throughout the county, with the usual $5 fee for tire-drop off being waived.
Farm tractor tires will also be accepted, but must be cut into four pieces. Electronic waste, such as used TVs, computers and radios will also be accepted free of charge.
Last year, Oswego County residents disposed of more than 2,000 waste tires at free events sponsored by state Sen. Patricia Ritchie.
“One single waste tire left outdoors can act as a breeding ground for more than one million mosquitoes — that’s a scary statistic when you consider the deadly diseases such as EEE and West Nile that are carried by these insects,” Ritchie said.
“As summer approaches, the risk for diseases like these increase,” she said. “That’s why we need to take the necessary precautions now — like eliminating waste tires — to reduce the risks that could put our health and the health of our loved ones in jeopardy.”
Tires may be dropped off from 8 a.m. to noon at the following locations:
Bristol Hill Landfill, 3125 State Route 3, Volney, 591-9211
Hannibal Transfer Station, 1167 County Route 7, Hannibal, 564-5623
Hastings Transfer Station, 1391 U.S. Route 11, Hastings, 668-8821
Pulaski Transfer Station, 100 County Route 2A, just outside Pulaski, 298-6062
Oswego Transfer Station, 700 E. Seneca St., Oswego, 349-3439
The free tire disposal events are made possible through $275,000 in the new state budget that Ritchie helped secure to support efforts to stop the spread of Eastern equine encephalitis, the mosquito-borne illness commonly known as EEE.
In addition to the free tire disposal events, the funding will also make possible a number of other initiatives including programs to educate children and families about the dangers of EEE, a low-cost vaccination program for horses, which are particularly susceptible to EEE, funding for a new workgroup tasked with developing vaccines against diseases like EEE and additional mosquito control efforts.
EEE affects horses and other livestock, and rarely occurs in humans. Five human deaths in New York since 1971 all have occurred in Oswego and Onondaga Counties, while dozens of horses have succumbed to the virus.
Following the death of Oswego County’s 4-year old Maggie Sue Wilcox from the EEE virus, Ritchie has been trying to raise awareness of the disease and find ways to stop its spread.
For tips on how you can protect yourself and your loved ones from mosquitoes and the diseases they carry, please visit www.ritchie.nysenate.gov to view Ritchie’s “Fight the Bite” tip sheet.