Thursday: Drive to Bomgaars to pick up a bag of paper, bottles and cans. Friday: Run to the Northwest Community Action Partnership to exchange white containers. Keep Alliance Beautiful crosses town on Third Street almost every day. The boulevards of our towns can be a blur of business seen a thousand times, but the fun is in noticing the changes. As in, the days when tires disappear are rare.
After writing about Alliance’s Tire Pardon Day last year, I assumed my local shop was paying for the same service. That particular bright summer morning, KAB was running on a heat schedule. I headed east (back to the recycling center) and noticed a white semi-tractor and open-top trailer parked in Kaiser. I took a few pictures of the man in it. He sat in the back seat of the cab, grabbed the black ring from the end of the rotating hydraulic claw and boom, and piled it up. Flip and drop, flip and drop. . . 3 car tires, then a tractor tire. Resource Management drivers in Brownell, Kansas, removed the mound that had built up over weeks in hours.
How many people buy brand new tires and still store worn tires? The majority pay a disposal fee to help offset the store’s costs for recycling. , in some cases worth reusing. In our house, 3 went to the tower for the kids a few years ago and another 4 of hers started seeding in the garden using used windows. Of course, the go-kart course has tire swings and walls. A family en route to Scottsbluff painted a tractor tire as a holiday decoration. If the tread and rubber are still decent, the best set can be installed as a spare.
Bob Kaiser was originally located on 2nd Street in Alliance and has been in business for 10 years. Demand is growing, but “it’s never going to be big enough everywhere,” he said. His two employees are Bob’s brother Anthony, who owns a Kaiser service truck.
Bob explained that since the law changed, there is nothing you can do about tires other than find a dealer to recycle them. He said trucks from Resource Management come in about every six weeks. Usually everything fits in his one load, but sometimes he needs two moves. From Aug. 9 to the time we spoke last week, Bob said the count is up to 1,131 tires for the next load, from Feb. 2022 to Aug. Kaiser has his 3,702. I counted the tires in the book. A company in Kansas mulches and stores shipments for marketing in the recycling stream. Bob mentioned highway pavement as one use he made.
Kaiser’s recycling efforts are most visible on the outer mountain, but beyond that we work with KAB and other distributors. A few years ago we offered plastic (such as oil jugs) and cardboard/paperboard containers. They also collect plastic for the Hefty Orange Bag Program. “Usually people come for oil,” said Bob for the store’s heater. They also recycle smaller items such as valve stems, wheel weights, and scrap metal.
Kaiser Tires does not yet have concrete plans for other eco-friendly initiatives in the future, but Bob maintains a ‘that’s what you do’ attitude when it comes to recycling.