Don McQuay, the department's superintendent, said people were lining up as early at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday at a maintenance building on Highway 34, even though the program was not supposed to start until 8.
By the time the program ended at 3 p.m., McQuay said, about 2,500 tires had been collected.
"We've had a little bit of everything -- tires from farm implements, trucks, tractors, autos and even lawn mowers. Tires and a lot more tires," he said.
He said the roundup had two purposes, starting with getting old tires off county roads. He said tires also provide a breeding ground for mosquitoes. Many people, like Keith Seabaugh, arrived with 20 tires, the maximum number allowed.
In addition to the 20 on his trailer, Seabaugh said he had at least 22 more on his Highview Drive property. Some he'd had for 20 years, he said.
John Phillips, 19, arrived as part of a six-man work detail from Teen Challenge to help the county workers.
"It's a good place to bring your tires," Phillips said of the free drop-off program.
The first-time program cost $28,000, most of it a grant from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. The county's share, $6,000, is 25 percent of the total cost, according to Robb McClary, who wrote the application for the state grant. He included Teen Challenge workers in the grant application, he said. They would be paid $6.50 an hour each for seven hours' work, McClary said.
The grant would pay for up to 8,000 tires to be hauled away. David McCormick owns McCormick Tire Brokers Inc. of Marble Hill, Mo., the company hired to collect the tires and haul them off. He set up four large trailers in the parking lot at the maintenance building. Depending on the types of tires collected, each trailer would bring $1,500 to $2,500.
McCormick said the old tires would be taken to two places, "a grinder to be ground into tire-derived fuel and burned in a furnace or they'll go to a cement plant and will be burned and put into processing of the cement itself."
McCormick promised to return if Tuesday's collection fell short of the 8,000 tires.
"Probably next month, maybe on a weekend," he said. "That way, people can get more here and we can clean up the county and make it more beautiful than it was."
McQuay said the June collection date would be announced later.
335-6611, extension 127
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