The best tire recycling at Kaiser

JOHN E. WEARE Keep the wedding ring beautiful

Thursday: Go to Bomgaars to pick up some paper and a mixed bag of bottles and cans. Friday: Go to the Northwest Community Action Partnership and change their white container. Almost daily, Keep Alliance Beautiful takes us through town on Third Street. Our city’s main thoroughfare may become a blur of businesses seen thousands of times, but the thrill is in noticing changes. Kaiser Tire’s ever-growing pile is a subtle marker of time, and like sand in an hourglass, there are rare days when the tires are gone.

After writing about Alliance Tire Amnesty Day last year, I assumed that local stores were paying for the same service. However, until last August, I had never seen a first-hand pickup. On this particular bright summer morning, KAB was operating on the heat schedule. I was heading east (back to the recycling center) and noticed a white semi tractor and open top trailer parked in Kaiser. With my camera back at the office, I parked and took a few shots on my phone of the man loading tires. He sat on a seat behind the swiveling cabin, grabbing and dropping black rings on the end of a hydraulic gripper and boom. Pinch and drop, pinch and drop. . . three car tires and then a tractor tire. The Resource Management driver in Brownell, Kansas, removed a mound that had accumulated over weeks within hours.

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How many people who buy new tires keep used ones? The majority pay the disposal fee, which helps offset the store’s recycling costs. Tires can be valuable to reuse in some cases. In our house, three entered a children’s tower a few years ago with used windows on four others to sow seeds in the garden. Of course, there are swings and walls on the go-kart tracks. A family on their way to Scottsbluff painted a tractor tire as a holiday decoration. If the tread and rubber are still okay, the best of a set could be ridden for a spare.

Originally located on Second Street in Alliance, Bob Kaiser has been in business for 10 years. Demand has increased, although “no matter where you are, it’s never big enough,” he said. There are two employees and Bob’s brother, Anthony, owns the Kaiser service truck.

Since the laws changed, Bob explained that you can’t do anything with tires except find an outlet to recycle them. He said the Resource Management truck comes about every six weeks. Usually everything fits in one charge, although sometimes it takes two trips. From August 9 to the date we spoke last week, Bob said the number was 1,131 tires for the next load. From February to August 2022, Kaiser counted 3,702 tires. The Kansas company then grinds the fillers for sale in the recycling stream. Bob mentioned highway paving as a use.

While the pile on the outside is Kaiser’s most visible commitment to recycling, the company works with KAB and other outlets on just about everything else. A few years ago, we provided containers for plastic (oil cans, etc.) and cardboard/cardboard. They also collect plastic for the Hefty orange bag program. “Usually people come in for oil,” for their shop heaters, Bob said. They also recycle small items like valve stems and wheel weights as well as scrap metal, he said.

Kaiser Tire doesn’t yet have any specific plans for other eco-friendly practices in the future, though Bob maintains a “it’s what you do” attitude to recycling.