MUA Reaches Record Mark In Discarded Tires, Many Found In Mt. Olive
Morris County’s mosquito control crews this winter passed the 60,000 mark in the collection of illegally discarded or abandoned tires, which are found mostly in difficult-to-get-to wooded and swampy areas in all sections of the county, creating perfect breeding grounds for millions of mosquitoes that wreak havoc on picnics and baseball games and walks through nature in Morris County each year.
That total of 60,346 and counting dates back to 2001 when the tire collection program began, in concert with the Morris County Municipal Utilities Authority, which helps with disposal of piles of tires found each year.
“The best offense is a good defense, so crews spent the winter collecting discarded, abandoned tires, which are a favorite breeding ground for mosquitoes,’’ said Kris McMorland, Director of the Morris County Division of Mosquito Control.
Tires have been collected at some 1,200 locations in 37 of the county’s 39 towns over the past decade. The most have been found in Rockaway Township, Mt. Olive and Jefferson.
“The people who discard tires don’t do any of us humans a favor, though they certainly are the friends of mosquitoes who love those tires,’’ added McMorland. “They provide a great breeding habitat for mosquitoes because they hold water, are nice and dark, plus they heat up pretty well.”
Mosquitoes can breed by the tens of thousands in just one illegally discarded tire, McMorland said.
“We strongly encourage residents not to illegally discard tires for environmental and aesthetic reasons and, of course, to prevent mosquito infestation,’’ said Freeholder John Cesaro, who is the county governing board’s liaison to the Mosquito Control Division. “Please, do the right thing. Find the proper way to get rid of your old tires,’’ he added.
Starting in the late fall and early winter and continuing into March each year, a small team of county mosquito control crews on foot and all-terrain vehicles and trucks head into the backwoods and swamps, wade into rivers, and patrol along roadsides to find and remove discarded tires as a first line of defense against mosquito-borne viruses.
“Removing abandoned or illegally dumped tires not only helps reduce mosquito levels and the threat of West Nile virus, but improves environmental quality,’’ said McMorland.
County residents should check with their towns to see if tires are accepted at local recycling centers. If not, the MUA accepts old tires on Saturdays only at the Parsippany Transfer Station (Not the Mount Olive transfer station). The cost is $200 per ton or about $2 for each car tire or $8 for a set of four car tires, off the rim. Some towns will accept a limited number of tires for free and others charge, so you should check with your individual town about costs.
To check for rules about using the MUA transfer station please visit: https://www.mcmua.com/sw_ts.asp (and scroll to the bottom). Residents should call the MUA at 973-285-8389 to get more and accurate information.