Over 215 tons of tires collected in support of mosquito reduction strategy

Illinois EPA Acting Director Alec Messina has announced the completion of used tire removal actions that included ten Northwestern Illinois counties in the Rockford region. The collections were part of Illinois’ plan to reduce the threat of mosquito-borne diseases by removing used tires from public and abandoned properties. To date, more than 1,166 tons of used tires have been removed in Illinois since the announcement of the Mosquito Reduction Strategy.

“Even though cooler temperatures have arrived, each used tire collection we complete this year reduces the threat of mosquito-borne diseases developing during warmer weather next year,” said Acting Director Messina. “Our local government partners have played a vital role in making this program a success and we look forward to working with many other partners in Illinois’ remaining counties.”

The Mosquito Reduction Strategy was announced in July by the Illinois EPA and Department of Public Health. As part of the Strategy, Illinois EPA has been working with units of local government to arrange for removals across Illinois. Improperly disposed used tires serve as habitats for disease-carrying insects, particularly mosquitoes. The two agencies divided the state into three priority zones for used tire removals. The zones are based on where Illinois would more likely see the Zika virus. Zone 1 collections, in Southern Illinois, are nearly complete and collections have been underway in Zones 2 and 3 (Central and Northern Illinois).

The used tire removal actions in the following counties resulted in a total of 215.37 tons of used tires being properly disposed:


  • Boone County in cooperation with the Boone County Health Department, 32.22 tons.
  • Carroll County in cooperation with the Carroll County Solid Waste Department, 3.84 tons.
  • DeKalb County in cooperation with the DeKalb County Solid Waste Department, 27.96 tons.
  • Jo Daviess County in cooperation with the Jo Daviess County Health Department, 11.61 tons.
  • LaSalle County in cooperation with the LaSalle County Environmental Services & Land Use Department, 30.76 tons.
  • Lee County in cooperation with the Lee County Highway Department, 16.35 tons.
  • Ogle County in cooperation with the Ogle County Solid Waste Department, 15.98 tons.
  • Stephenson County in cooperation with the Stephenson County Health Department/Highway Department, 23.55 tons.
  • Whiteside County in cooperation with the Whiteside County Health Department/Highway Department, 12.87 tons.
  • Winnebago County in cooperation with the Winnebago County Highway Department, 40.23 tons.


The units of local government listed have assisted in the coordination of these collections, which have allowed the Illinois EPA to collect and properly dispose of the waste tires that have been removed from public properties, including roadsides, public parks and abandoned sites.

Through the Used Tire Program, used tires are properly disposed of at a registered, commercial used tire processing facility in Illinois. Some tires are retreaded and reused, and others are recycled into a variety of products and uses; but most are shredded into a high-energy fuel supplement known as tire-derived fuel and are burned in power plants, industrial boilers or cement kilns for energy recovery. The Illinois EPA’s Used Tire Program is funded by a $2.50 per tire fee that consumers pay when purchasing tires at retail.

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