Almost 350 vehicles passed through Zemurray Park Saturday morning with recyclable household waste in-tow.
“We had a lot of people, a lot came in, so I’m just slowly trying to tally up everything,” said Dori St. Cyr on Monday.
St. Cyr, the administrative assistant for Hammond’s city street department, said the street workers had help from numerous volunteers, including nine university student members of the American Society of Safety Professional, five members of the Hammond Garden Club, a couple of Keep Hammond Beautiful members and Ginger Tastet of Keep Tangipahoa Beautiful.
It was a wonderful event on a pretty day with a continuous line of cars until noon, said Tastet, who also serves as parish litter coordinator.
“I think it’s something we need every year, and Dori did a great job of organizing it and getting all of the permits,” she said.
Because of the pandemic, there was no annual recycling day last year. Tastet believes the real recyclers saved their items for this year.
Among the carfuls of recyclable items locals brought in were 160 tires.
According to state Department of Environmental Quality guidelines, each person is limited to recycle five tires. A permit specifically for tires collection had to be filed ahead of time with DEQ in addition to the permit for hazardous waste collection.
St. Cyr revealed that some people did indeed have some of their tires turned away because they brought more than five per address. DEQ prevents the city from collecting more than five per person.
All tires – whether brought during the event, or picked up at other times off the streets – must be well-documented for the state department.
Environmental Industries picked up the tires at Saturday’s recycling event, which costs the local government $5 per tire.
Tastet said her group picks up dumped tires all the time. Keep Tangipahoa Beautiful volunteers picked up 20 tires off the street at one cleanup.
“It’s a continuous problem, and it’s not just a Tangipahoa Parish problem. It’s in every parish,” she said, adding that tires are dumped by individuals as well as businesses.
“Litter never goes away; tires never go away,” she said.
Tastet said sources are available for proper disposal of tires, but people have to decide if they want to use them.
Residents with a Tangipahoa Parish driver’s license can bring five tires per day to the parish landfill for free as long as they are not doing so for a business.