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Old tires stack up quickly at bash

By Leonard Gray / L’Observateur / April 29, 1998

NEW SARPY – April 25 was a red-letter day in St. Charles Parish in theeyes of Pat Elfer of St. Rose, as more than 2,000 vehicle tires rolled intothe parish public works yard on East Harding Street.

Elfer, who operates St. Rose Tavern on River Road, heads Swamp Eyes, alocal activist group which has fought for years to clean up parish roadsides, especially St. Rose Avenue.She spearheaded the first “Tire Bash” last Saturday and saw St. CharlesParish residents turn in old tires which, in many cases, had been in yards and garages for years.

“One man said he couldn’t bring a tire because a tree had grown up through it,” she said.

She was told it couldn’t be done. She did it. She was told nobody wouldaccept the tires. A tire shredding company in Cottonport was due to takeevery single tire yesterday. She was told it would be too expensive toorganize and carry through. “The only thing I spent money on was for 4,700flyers,” she said. “The whole thing was me and the DEQ.”The tires filled one dumpster and continued to roll in, thanks to help from the Department of Environmental Quality. Enough tires came in to fillthree other dumpsters, if there were enough dumpsters made available.

“I’d like to see a local place to haul tires,” Elfer said, recalling she gave people with tires free soft drinks and sandwiches as a reward for turning in old tires rather than dumping them on parish roadsides.

Without such collections of old tires, they clog drainage ditches, disfigure the parish and provide breeding spots for mosquitoes.

Remember the Budweiser frogs commercial, where a frog snares a passing beer truck with his tongue and zips away? That’s St. Rose Avenue, whichconnects Airline Highway to River Road. However, with continued dumpingin the area, the frogs won’t likely be back, Elfer said.

Elfer commented as to the dumping of tires, “They don’t grow but they sure multiply.”

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