, Port Arthur, Texas


June 16, 2013

Editorial: A tired old problem

PORT ARTHUR — A circle has been described as a never-ending line and some might describe Port Arthur’s scrap tire issue as a never-ending problem. The more the city disposes of them the more they seem to pile up.

Tires became a topic at the City Council meeting this past week and some of the problems with finding them, storing them and getting rid of them were discussed. Tires can become a life-and-death health problem for some, especially the elderly, because they can hold water and provide a breeding ground for the mosquitoes that spread West Nile Virus.

The city stores used tires at the scrap tire facility on H.O. Mills Blvd. They stack up there and are either dumped into the landfill, which uses up valuable landfills space, or are hauled off by a recycling facility — for a fee.

Council member Willie “Bae” Lewis suggested the possibility of the city setting up a tire recycling facility. The $250,000 price tag to get a recycling facility started mentioned by Ross Blackketter, director of public works, is a lot of money.

But tires aren’t a problem isolated to Port Arthur. This might be an opportunity for the cities in Jefferson and Orange counties to work together to find a tire solution that will benefit them all. The product of tire recycling could be used in road pavement, walking paths and many other uses.

There’s plenty of raw material for tire recycling. If the rubber could be put to a new use instead of dumped in a landfill, and if the money being spent for hauling tires off could be redirected into a recycling program, this region could get rid of a negative and gain a positive.


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