May 16—JEFFERSON — The Ashtabula County Fairgrounds was a focus of activity early Saturday morning as hundreds of vehicles lined up to get rid of old tires, attend a poultry show and participate in the Jefferson Area Girls Softball organization's Opening Day ceremonies.
A tire amnesty program, sponsored by the Ashtabula County Solid Waste District, drew hundreds of county residents to the fairgrounds to get rid of old tires.
A poultry show and the JAGS event were also being held making traffic an issue.
The Jefferson police and fire departments helped direct traffic as lines grew in multiple directions as people tried to get rid of their tires.
"We got here at 8 a.m. and there was already a line," said Dawn Gates, a grant specialist for the county who worked the event.
Steven Pebbles of Plymouth Township brought his dog Petey along for the ride and didn't think it would take long.
"I figured I'd be in and out ... [but] they are coming from every direction," he said.
James Hammon, also of Plymouth Township, said he came to get rid of tires that are difficult to discard.
"It is the only place you can get rid of tires. I don't want to burn them or throw them in the woods," he said.
The county asked for a form of identification, to insure the tires were coming from Ashtabula County residents. The first four tires from each family were free and the next six, up to a maximum of 10, were a dollar each.
The lines of cars, once into the fairgrounds parking area, were guided by county employees and volunteers to three different drop off areas. The volunteers grabbed the tires and tossed them into earth movers to be placed in waiting trucks.
The first three hours were very busy and the pace of tire discarding slowed around noon, said Ashtabula County Commissioner Casey Kozlowski. The event was scheduled for 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The line of cars from the fairgrounds entrance north to Route 307 was bumper to bumper for well over two hours.
Kozlowski said officials were still working on a tire count but he estimated there were 4,000 tires discarded.