May 17—With their truck beds and trailers full of well-worn tires, Hunt County residents were lined up for more than half a mile down Jack Finney Boulevard as they patiently waited to enter the gates at the Fairgrounds to rid themselves of unwanted used tires at this year's Hunt County Tire Roundup.
"We definitely stayed busy," said David Alexander of the Hunt County Office of Homeland Security, which also handles environmental enforcement duties.
"People weren't bringing just regular pickup truck and car tires either," he added. "We had a lot of people bringing tractor and 18-wheeler tires, which are of course bigger. For those bigger tires, we used a skid steer to load them into dump trucks, and the dump trucks had to make multiple rounds once they were full."
While the skid steer and dump trucks were facilitating the disposal of the heavier tires, the more manageable sized ones were loaded into 18-wheeler trailers by student volunteers from area high schools.
Although county staff and volunteers stayed busy collecting thousands of tires during the event's 8 a.m. to noon run time, participation by the public wasn't significantly more than it had been in previous years.
"With it being out first tire round up in three years because of COVID, we expected more, but we were pleasantly surprised that it was about the same," Alexander said. "We still, easily, filled more than 18 semi truck trailers with tires, though."
After the tires were collected, they were taken to 360 Tire Group in Caddo Mills to be shredded and recycled.
Each year, the event aims to help prevent illegal dumping of tires and to keep people from stockpiling them on their private property, where the tires can fill with water and become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.
The collection effort also hopes to reduce the hazards faced by area firefighters when discarded tires ignite in fields or in vacant lots.