Monday, November 16th, 2009

Crews from the Morris County Mosquito Commission and the Municipal Utilities Authority have begun their annual ritual of searching for, finding and removing discarded tires from streams, roadsides and wooded areas throughout the county.

Kristian McMorland, superintendent of the Mosquito Commission, said removing the abandoned tires is part of the commission’s year-round mosquito control activities.

“Tires can hold standing water creating the perfect habitat for many mosquitoes,” McMorland said. “Removing abandoned or illegally dumped tires not only helps to reduce mosquito levels and the threat of West Nile virus, but it improves environmental quality.”

McMorland noted abandoned or illegally dumped tires can also contaminate waterways and surface water run-off.

In the two weeks that crews have been out, some 900 tires have been collected from areas in Washington Township, Jefferson, Mount Olive, Morris Township and Chester Township, McMorland said.

Since the program began eight years ago, more than 51,500 tires have been collected, according to McMorland.

Under the program, Mosquito Commission crews find, collect and transport the tires to a trailer supplied by the MUA. The tires are then brought to a registered recycling facility where, according to Kathleen Hourihan, MUA district recycling coordinator, the tires are shredded and the byproduct sold for various uses including playground cover.

Anyone knowing of a location where tires have been dumped or discarded may call the Mosquito Commission at (973) 285-6450.