A free tire collection event is set for this Saturday at 12 locations throughout Hidalgo County.
The event, which is sponsored by the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council and Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, is a joint effort by cities and counties in the Valley to clear up neighborhoods, roads and ditches ahead of hurricane season.
Hidalgo County residents will be able to drop off up to 10 tires at one of the 12 collection sites Saturday, with the exception of oversized or tractor tires. The annual event draws attention to illegal dumping, a problem that creates health hazards in the area.
“I hate to use adjectives, but it’s a really big problem,” Hidalgo County Precinct 2 Commissioner Eddie Cantu said Tuesday. “I couldn’t really quantify it more than it’s a huge problem. It’s a huge problem for multiple reasons, but I think the biggest reason that it’s a problem is because of what it does to our drainage ditches.”
Illegal tire dumping not only creates flood hazards in flood-prone areas, it can also create breeding grounds for disease-carrying mosquitoes and rodents. The shape of the tires trap water which then become ideal breeding grounds.
“Because our drain ditches are sometimes in areas that are hard to police, you have a lot of people illegally dumping tires in these ditches,” Cantu said. “When the rains come, when the big floods come, when the water’s trying to get through the ditch and go east like it’s supposed to, you have tires clogging up boxes and drain ditches.”
Cantu added that, as a developer, the tires are also unsightly for neighborhoods.
“It always seems like people are unwilling to dispose of them properly, so they end up in farms, developments, subdivisions and the worst one is our drain ditches,” Cantu said.
The locations and times for the collection sites are as follows:
Hidalgo County Precinct 1
>> Mile 4 1/2 North East of FM 493 in Donna from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
>> Mile 5 1/2 West Road & Mile 21in North Monte Alto from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
>> Mile 1 East & 6 North in Mercedes 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
>> Mile 11 North & Mile 1 ½ W in Weslaco from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.
>> 29606 McKinley (Corner of McKinley & 5th Street) in Hargill from 7 a.m. 1 p.m.
Hidalgo County Precinct 2
>> 119 E. El Gato Rd. (1 Mile East of S. Tower Rd./Border Rd. & El Gato) in Alamo from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Hidalgo County Precinct 3
>> Mile 7 (Hwy. 107) & Salida Del Sol Rd. in Peñitas from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
>> 6 3/4 Mile N. (1/4 Mile S. Hwy 107 on Los Ebanos) in Alton from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
>> Corner of Military Rd. and FM 886 in Sullivan from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
>> Military Rd. 0.5 Mile West of FM 1427 in Peñitas from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
Hidalgo County Precinct 4
>> 1124 N. M Road in Edinburg from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.
>> 0.25 Mile East of Hwy 281 on FM 186 in Linn-San Manuel from 8 a.m to 12 p.m.
Anyone planning to drop off tires must show proof of residency in the form of an identification card and a utility bill.
“Take advantage of the opportunity to properly dispose of tires at our collections sites,” Cantu said. “Look at our social media and see the easiest spot for you to dispose of your tires. The illegal disposing of tires has a huge effect on drainage, health, and of course it’s unsightly. We would encourage our community to properly dispose of their tires.”
NOTE: This post has been updated to correct an address.