By Associated Press - Saturday, September 12, 2020

PEKIN, Ill. (AP) - The Illinois Environmental Agency has removed more than 220 tons of used tires from an abandoned auto salvage site in Tazewell County.

Officials said the operation took more than six weeks because of the amount of material dispersed over a 10-acre (4-hectare) area. It’s the site of the former Harmon Auto Salvage on Illinois 29 south of Pekin.

The amount of tire debris translated into nearly 20,000 passenger-vehicle tires. The Tazewell County Health Department provided five truck-back waste containers and bought concrete barrier blocks to prevent unauthorized access.

State law allows removal of waste tires when they become a public health hazard. Standing water in dormant tires provides an ideal breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitoes.

The operation cost $147,900 and was covered by money the state sets aside from a $2.50-per-tire fee on retail purchases.

Some used tires may be retreaded for use. Others are shredded for re-use in a variety of applications.

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