- Associated Press - Saturday, December 3, 2016

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) - Officials say a summer-long tire disposal program at the Sioux Falls landfill has decreased potential mosquito breeding grounds in the metro area as well as the likelihood the Zika virus will make it there.

The South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources set aside $650,000 to help eliminate mosquito breeding grounds in the state by encouraging people to get rid of unused tires. Tires sitting in backyards or tree groves could collect water, where mosquitoes like to lay eggs, the Argus Leader (https://argusne.ws/2g1Prvv) reported.

Sioux Falls Regional Sanitary Landfill superintendent Dustin Hansen said 505 tons of waste tires were brought to the landfill for free between June and mid-November. The landfill used up to $100,000 in grant funds for the program, allowing it to waive collection fees from users.

“The Landfill appreciates that so many residents from the five-county area responded in an effort to reduce the mosquito population in our region,” Hansen said.

Sioux Falls vector control coordinator Denise Patton said the program should pay dividends when next year’s mosquitoes look for a place to breed.

“Any little nook or cranny … those are all places mosquitoes like to lay their eggs,” she said. “So anything people can do to get rid of (standing water) sources is the very first step in any control program.”

Hansen said the disposal program will re-open next spring with the expectation of gathering another 300 tons of tires.

Zika, an autoimmune disease, spread from South America to the United States earlier this year.

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Information from: Argus Leader, https://www.argusleader.com


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