The State Environmental Protection Commission Monday approved a 666-thousand dollar contract to clean up 700-thousand tires from the Bee Rite Tire disposal site near the central Iowa town of Rhodes. Jeff Geerts of the Iowa Department of Natural Resources says it’s not only an eyesore but also a health hazzard. He says tires make an excellent breeding ground for the mosquitoes that carry the West Nile virus, and he says they’re a fire hazzard. Geerts says this is the last major tire pile in the state. He says there are 19 or 20 more sites that’re much smaller, with the smallest at about 10-thousand tires. He says you can help keep old tires from piling up. He says maintain your tires properly so they don’t have to be replaced. And when you buy a new set of tires, leave the olds tires with the dealer. Dealers charge a fee to leave your old tires, but Geerts says it’s worth it. He says the fee is a dollar or two, and he says if you take the tires home, they just take up room. And he says there’s fee if you take them to an area recycler. Bee Rite was fined one-point-five million dollars after a fire broke out at the Rhodes tire pile. State officials say they will go after the company to try and get back some of the money used to clean up the tires.
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