Monday, April 13, 2015

Where Have All Those Tires Gone?

Just a few months ago, the used car and truck tires littering parks and sidewalks across Bogotá were making headlines: In particular, after an illegal lot with thousands of tires caught fire, turning the air grey for days.

Then, government and tire industry leaders - and apparently did nothing.

Recently, however, I seem to see fewer tires on the sidewalks, making me wonder where they've gone.

This pile of tire shreds near Calle 26...

....were helpfully covered up recently.

Then, one day, I happened to look thru a gap into this nondescript vacant building behind the Central Cemetery.

The building is packed with hundreds, perhaps even thousands, of used tires.

Waiting to burn.
One day, a homeless person will sneak in to sleep and light a fire; the tires will ignite and smolder for days, turning the sky grey. A few months ago, an unregulated tire dump caught fire and polluted Bogotá's air for days.

But there is a solution: Apply a deposit to tires (and many other waste products), creating an incentive for people to dispose of them properly, as well as a subsidy for processing them into, say, asphalt.

By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours


Andy Johnson said...

I was in Barrio Mexico last weekend visiting friends. There are many tires along the sides of the streets there. It was never like this in the past. Are people moving the tires to places where the people are less likely to complain or be listened to?

Miguel said...

Hi Andy - It's certainly likely that there are hundreds or even thousands of vacant buildings and empty lots across the city filled with discarded tires waiting to combust. The only conceivable way to recover them would be to offer a payment - which should be financed by the tire industry.


Miguel said...

But, as far as the city is concerned, it's 'out of sight, out of mind,' as far as solid waste trash is concerned.