Tire drop-off event aims to remove breeding ground for mosquitoes (and disease)

COVINGTON, Ky. – A tire drop-off event held in Kenton County on Aug. 17-19 will help rid the landscape of large pieces of durable trash, but there’s a less-obvious – and equally disgusting – reason for the event.

Every time you sling an old tire into an alley – or neatly stack a set of tires on the sidewalk, for that matter – you’re providing the perfect real estate for mosquitoes and the diseases they carry.

As a scientific field study in Covington showed, a single tire with standing rainwater is the perfect incubator for mosquito eggs, providing insulation and protection for thousands of mosquitos to come. The result is a significant public health risk because mosquitos top the charts for carrying all range of infectious diseases to humans.

Unfortunately, there’s plenty of mosquito-breeding real estate in Covington. Just ask Rob Farrell, the City’s Solid Waste & Recycling Field Enforcement Officer. To date this calendar year, he’s collected about 250 tires from Covington streets, alleys, and riverbanks. He’s discovered stacks of tires filled with “an aromatic mix” of beer cans, food garbage, rainwater, a dead rat, and plenty of mosquitoes.

“Typically, if I find a tire around this time of year that has been setting out for a while and is filled with water, I will get swarmed with mosquitos when I pick it up,” Farrell said. “I’ve gotten pretty good at flipping the tires the right way to get the water out, but it doesn’t always work and I’ll get hit with the splash-back from the tire water. Yum!”

This month’s Waste Tire Collection Event, co-sponsored by the Kentucky Division of Waste Management and Kenton County, happens Aug. 17 – 18, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Aug. 19, from 8 a.m. to noon, at the KYTC Maintenance Lot at 3923 Madison Pike.

What’s accepted

Tires that WILL be accepted (on or off the rim) include:

·        Truck.

·        Light truck.

·        Passenger.

·        ATV.

·        Implement.

·        Lawn tractor.

·        Bicycle.

·        Motorcycle.

·        Golf cart.

·        Semi-rims.

´╗┐Tires NOT accepted Waste Tire Collection Event include:

·        Foam-filled tires.

·        Calcium-filled tires.

·        Off-the-road construction tires.

·        Rubber tracks.

·        Any tire with a bead greater than 1 3/4 inches.

·        Solid tires with/without press-on rims (no forklift tires).

Tire retailers, scrap/salvage yards, and recycle businesses are prohibited from participating.

Please call Kenton County Solid Waste & Recycling office at (859) 392-1919 if you have more than 100 tires to dispose.

Mosquitos trapped & ID’d

To assess the tossed tire/mosquito breeding situation in The Cov, the City teamed up with Northern Kentucky University in 2021 to conduct a field study of mosquitoes in Northern Kentucky – from June through August of that year – to determine their seasonal abundance.

NKU’s Parker Research Lab, under the supervision of Dr. Allison Parker, conducted weekly mosquito species surveys using discarded tires and traps at five field sites in Covington. Researchers collected:

·        3,315 juvenile mosquitoes from the tires.

·        2,228 adult mosquitoes from adult traps.

·        10 different mosquito species.

“The results of NKU’s survey were eye-opening, to say the least,” said Sheila Fields, Covington’s Solid Waste & Recycling Manager.

 A breakdown of the number of mosquitoes (larvae and pupae) collected from the field sites shows:

·        Devou Park – 860.

·        Randolph Park – 723.

·        Goebel Park – 678.

·        River Road site – 598.

·        Edgecliff site – 456.

War on mosquitos

To reduce mosquitoes on your property:

·        Remove or flip containers holding water, such as flowerpots, watering cans, and pet bowls.

·        Clean gutters and bird baths.

·        Poke holes in the bottom of gutter extensions and old tires

·        Keep lids on trash cans and rain barrels.

·        Dispose of unwanted tires at the drop-off event.

Tire disposal

For more information about the August event, see this Tire Event Flier. 

In addition to the state- and county-sponsored collection event, Fields said the City is offering monthly assistance for tire disposal.

“To get rid of tires, we are making it easy and free for residents through our monthly voucher program,” said Fields. “You can dispose of up to 4 tires a month through the City’s program.”

To learn details, click the City’s Trash Guidelines page and look at the “Voucher Program” and “Tires” sections. 


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