Free tire disposal to be part of Carter County Landfill cleanup

John Thompson • Apr 4, 2012 at 9:17 AM

ELIZABETHTON — It’s spring cleaning time, and the Carter County Commission’s Landfill Committee is preparing for several countywide projects in the next two months.

Although most of the details have already been worked out, the Landfill Committee had yet to decide on whether old tires would be accepted for free during the countywide cleanup on April 20-21.

The committee had proposed to the Budget Committee last month that $10,000 be taken from the General Fund to pay the disposal fees on the used tires. That request was rejected after Mayor Leon Humphrey said there are still funds in the landfill’s budget to cover the costs. The Budget Committee agreed and did not recommend the General Fund expenditure to the full County Commission.

Despite the setback, the Landfill Committee voted unanimously on Tuesday to allow each household to dispose of eight tires for free during the cleanup. Committee member Ernest “Gebe” Ritchie said if the tires weren’t accepted for free, many of them would be dumped along the road or in the creeks and rivers.

Landfill Manager Benny Lyons said that would mean the landfill would eventually be taking those tires for free because the Carter County Sheriff’s Department cleanup crews are allowed to dump items they collect for free.

Chairman Joel Street said the landfill will bear the full brunt of the disposal fees for the cleanup. The landfill is being managed efficiently and has turned around the financial condition that used to require annual cash transfusions from the General Fund to offset deficits, but Street said “we can’t expect him to be able to buy $20,000 pieces of equipment if we ask him to put $15,000 toward the cleanup.”

Lyons said what some commissioners don’t realize is that unlike other government offices, the line items in the landfill budget are not available until the revenue is collected at the scale house.

With the decision reached that each household can dispose of eight passenger tires (agricultural and commercial tires will not be accepted for free), the cleanup is now set to begin in two weeks. Prior to that, the landfill will be closed Friday, Saturday and Sunday in observance of Easter.

The cleanup will start April 13-14 with a E-waste collection of old computers, televisions and other electronics at the Carter County Recycling Center in the Cherokee Industrial Park. The hours are 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. on April 13 and 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on April 14.

The next week, April 20-21, will be the countywide cleanup with no fees collected on residential waste and tires at the landfill. the hours are 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. on April 20 and 8 a.m. until 1 p.m. on April 21.

On April 28, Carter County Bank locations will provide a paper shredding service from 9 a.m. until noon as a safe way to dispose of outdated documents containing personal information.

Also on April 28, the Elizabethton Chamber of Commerce will collect outdated and no longer needed prescription medicine from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m.

The annual Carter County Streams Cleanup will be held on May 12 from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. at the Covered Bridge Park.

The household hazardous waste collection will be held on May 19 at the Carter County Recycling Center in the Cherokee Industrial Park from 9 a.m. until 1 p.m. Paints will not be accepted at this collection.

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