Stacks of tires in wooded areas can be found in Wayne County, and a local effort is underway to provide free disposal of tires and electronic waste in October.

Collections of unwanted items, along with billboards discouraging littering, are just some of the ways a local organization aims to clean up two local counties.

Billboard campaign

Cathy Williams saw anti-littering billboards throughout South Carolina while on vacation, and brought the idea to Wayne and Union Solid Waste Management District board. That organization, which formerly served Randolph County, is still known as WUR, with the R now representing recycling.

The board, made up of local government leaders and concerned citizens, aims to in-crease recycling and better environmental practices in both counties. Williams, who lives south of Richmond, describes the trash in her area as “horrendous.” She’s also watched people throw trash out their window while waiting in line at a local fast food restaurant.

Currently, four billboards saying “Littering is not COOL – RECYCLE” are located in Wayne, plus one is in Union. The use of frowning and smiling emojis aims to capture young people’s attention, Williams said, complementing the environmental education that LuAnne Holeva already provides to local schools. Williams serves on the WUR Board as part of her committees for Wayne County Council.

Recycling events

WUR is trying to ramp up recycling, since Indiana has set a goal of 50 percent recycling by 2030.

It will collect electronics during two drive-thru events on Thursday, Oct. 21. The first takes place from 9-11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 21, at Union County Fairgrounds. Another collection runs from noon-5:30 p.m. at Seton Catholic High School’s parking lot, 305 S. Fifth St. in Richmond, in a partnership with Seton’s National Honor Society students. WUR needs to collect $20 for every TV or computer monitor brought to cover the costs of Technology Recyclers of Indianapolis.

However, all other electronics, ranging from small appliances that have cords to cell phones, printers and batteries, can be recycled at no charge.

Passenger tires will be collected from 9 a.m. to noon Saturday, Oct. 23 at all five public school districts along with Seton. Tires can be taken to Western Wayne Elementary in Cambridge City, or to Centerville, Hagerstown, Northeast-ern, Seton Catholic and Richmond high schools. Students, school employees and SPUR (Society for Preservation and Use of Resources) members will be volunteering to help with the collections, and several community partners are contributing various supplies and assistance.

Tires must be 36 inches or less in height and off rims. Those bringing tires must show a driver’s license or ID to prove Wayne or Union County residency, with a limit of four tires per household.

Williams would like to offer an annual collection to discourage people from throwing tires into ditches or other rural locations. She said someone recently stacked up 16 tires along Salisbury Road in a wooded area, and a dozen tires were dumped on another property. That careless behavior means tax dollars are spent to pay for those disposals, she said.

Throughout the year, residents can pay a fee at the Richmond landfill or at the store where they’re buying other tires, if they don’t want to store them.

Williams said she favors offering the tire collection in multiple sites each year to reduce the likelihood of a line of vehicles that occurred at a previous countywide event. That led to people being turned away at the end.

More services

Throughout the year, WUR operates a site to drop off recyclables, called a transfer station, at 20 Paul Foulke Road, off Indiana 1 and south of Indiana 38, in Hagerstown. It’s open from 8 a.m.-4 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to noon Saturdays. Accepted items are plastics #1 and #2 only (recently up-dated), plus steel and aluminum cans, glass bottles and jars, newspaper, office paper, cardboard, paperboard, catalogs, magazines and phone books.

Williams said she’s encouraging WUR to rename the two transfer stations in Wayne and Union counties to explain that recycling is offered there. In addition, WUR conducted a shredding event in June on Richmond’s west side that collected 9,500 pounds of paper.

For more information, visit or call 765-966-0191, ext. 3.

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Millicent Martin Emery is a reporter and editor for the Western Wayne News.