On Aug. 31, large tires located on Fitz Gilbert Road across from the Daniel Boone Plaza were removed through a partnership between various community organizations. The tires will be recycled and converted into livestock water tanks.
The tire removal, said Perry County Conservation District Program Coordinator Patty Fugate, was accomplished through a partnership between the Perry County Conservation District, Division of Conservation, Perry County Fiscal Court and Jackson County Fiscal Court. The tires were from heavy equipment machinery, and weighed from more than 1,000 pounds to three tons, depending on the type.
Douglas Wilson, an environmental scientist with the Division of Conservation, said the project would consist of removing 20-22 of the tires and converting them to livestock water tanks by remodeling them and setting them up much like the system used in a commode tank to allow cattle to have access to clean and easily refilled water sources.
“So we can fence a pond to keep cattle out, but they'll have a clean water source coming down to their tank. Not only does it give them clean water, it keeps the ponds from filling up and recycles these tires,” said Wilson. “A cow can drink six gallons a minute, and a cow will drink 20-25 gallons per day. So if you take a herd of 25-30 head of cattle, they're going through a lot of water on a daily basis, and it needs to be clean water.”
The tires, he said, will be able to hold approximately 200-300 gallons of water once installed.
“If they don't get much water, they don't make much milk. If they don't make much milk, the calf doesn't grow,” he said, explaining the importance of having access to water sources.
The tanks, said Wilson, will have other benefits as well.
“It's going to be good for the environment too, because we're keeping the cattle out of the ponds so the water is clean for the cattle to drink and they don't get mud where they're drinking so it's a win-win,” he said.
In addition to providing quality drinking water to cattle and helping keep cleaner areas for livestock, the tire removal also had aesthetic and financial advantages for Perry County, said Wilson.
“Their board (Perry County Conservation District) wanted to see them gone, they were an eyesore,” said Wilson. Wilson said that Perry County Judge-Executive Scott Alexander had informed him that it would have cost the county between $40,000 and 50,000 to haul the tires out and shred them, so by joining this partnership they saved a lot of money.
“That's just money that on a tight budget it's hard to come up with,” said Wilson. “It's so expensive anymore to produce any type of livestock. If we can harvest water on our own farms and be able to utilize it, that's just a wise use of the resource and that's what the Division of Conservation is about, the wise use of our natural resources.”
The Perry County Conservation District said there will be some tires left over and if anyone is interested in taking a tire, they can contact the Perry County Conservation District or the Perry County Fiscal Court. If anyone is interested in a water tank for cattle made from the recycled tires, they can contact the Perry County Conservation District for information and assistance in applying for the tanks and state cost shares.