Crow’s Nest: Keep it clean.

May 3, 2019

By Daniel Barringer, Preserve Manager.

Photo: Daniel Barringer

Usually I try to keep weblog entries full of the positive news on the preserve—what’s blooming, what we’ve accomplished lately, highlights of our programs, things you can do when you visit here. But here’s one entry that’s a rant.

Someone has dumped tires along the road in our woods. You might not realize it, but we pick up loads of tires this way until we accumulate a truckload which we can contract for recycling. It takes a year or two to fill up a pickup, and the bulk disposal is kind of expensive.

You’d think that if someone had the money to buy four 265/60R20 tires (about $1,600 installed) for an SUV they’d also have a few bucks to pay to have the old ones disposed of properly. It’s a matter of personal responsibility as well as community ethics and the law.

Old tires accumulate water which breeds mosquitoes. They’re an eyesore and a hazard.

We pick up trash along our roadsides here at the preserve every week, trying to preserve that naturally beautiful experience for people even when they’re only driving past the preserve.

But here’s a link to something positive at the preserve. We’re planning to install a tiny library along the trails here, and one of the books I plan to donate to get it started is John McPhee’s Irons in the Fire (Noonday, 1997). His essays are full of interesting landscapes and the characters who inhabit them, and this anthology has a chapter entitled, “Duty of Care” about tire dumps, recycling, and the energy (petroleum) embedded in tires. Since it was written more than 20 years ago the used tire landscape (economic, technological and physical) has changed, but the fact remains that something society throws away now may someday be mined again to recover its value.

We should be mindful of the impact of our use of resources and what we can do to make the greatest amount available to future generations. That includes but is not limited to personal responsibility for what we buy and throw away.