Gun Lake Tribe holds free tire recycling event in Allegan County

The tribe is holding a free recycling event which will be the first step into turning old tires into items like rubber mulch.

SHELBYVILLE, Mich. — Imagine sitting on the patio enjoying a conversation with loved ones. The sun goes down and you feel something nibbling at your ankle. Then a few more. It’s more than likely the deadliest animal in the world, the mosquito, sucking your blood on these warm summer evenings. But how did so many of them get in your backyard?

If you have old tires laying around, you might be giving them a place to breed.

Tires provide a place for standing water to collect, which can lead to mosquitos. That’s just one of several environmental problems old tires cause. They’re also a fire hazard and they take up a large amount of space if ending up in landfills. 

That’s why the Gun Lake Tribe of Pottawatomi Indians is offering a free recycling event on Wednesday, July 13 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It’s happening at their public works parking lot at 2848 Mno Bmadzewen Drive in Shelbyville.

“It’s just a service giving back to our local community to make sure tires are not left in the field or disposed illegally,” said the tribe’s environmental specialist Shawn McKenney.

The tribe has been offering the event for the last ten years and it’s open to anyone, not just residents of Allegan County.

“With the Gun Lake Tribe, we have our Seven Grandfather Teachings, and one of those teachings is respect,” McKenney said.

“Our participation with this program is to take tires out of out of the environment in respect of Grand Mother Earth.”

Cobalt Holdings is partnering with the tribe. They do not ship tires overseas and also have a zero-landfill policy. All tires collected will be recycled, refurbished or reused in items like rubber mulch.

There is a 10-tire limit per household. McKenney says you need a commercial tire business to collect more than that in the State of Michigan.

The tribe also hosts an electronic waste collection event once per year. McKenney says the tribe is in “a blessed position” to open events like that to the public.

“At the Gun Lake Tribe we like to give back to the community, and also at the same point time we’re trying to respect and make an impact on Grand Mother Earth. It’s key to the Gun Lake Tribe.”

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