PAW PAW — So far this year there are 5,500 fewer used passenger tires in Van Buren County.

That’s according to Emilly Hickmott, the recycling coordinator for the Van Buren County Conservation District, in summarizing county tire recycling efforts.

“It’s so nice not to have old tires in ditches all over Van Buren County,” County Commissioner Mike Chappell told Hickmott Tuesday, during her report to the county commission.

Last year that number was 4,500 and in 2017 it was 3,400.

The numbers were calculated in equivalents to a passenger car tire, not the actual number, and were presented on graphs, meaning they are approximate.

According to Hickmott’s report, the paint disposal program is also on the rise. There were 2,500 pounds collected in 2014, compared to 22,000 pounds in 2018.

Some numbers have gone down. In 2014 the electronics recycling program took in 70,000 pounds, or 35 tons, but in 2018 it took in 30,000 pounds, or 15 tons.

Hickmott also offered to help set up recycling programs in the county’s buildings. “The audit’s free,” Hickmott said.

In the future Hickmott foresees a permanent household hazardous waste facility, medical sharps (syringes) collection, a revised county solid waste plan, electronics recycling in the county’s northwest corner, plus more school recycling.

In other matters, commissioners, OK’d the purchase of four new sheriff’s patrol vehicles from Tapper Ford of Paw Paw for a not-to-exceed price of $160,000.