For the second year in a row, Esperanza participated in the City of Philadelphia’s Tire Round-up, collecting over 150 tires from the streets of Hunting Park. The Tire Round-up is an annual event organized by the city’s Streets Department which invites block captains and community organizations to combat the problem of illegally dumped tires by collecting them and depositing them at designated drop-off sites in return for a small bounty. Esperanza collected tires over the course of the spring and summer, driving down every block in the Hunting Park Neighborhood Strategic Plan area to collect visible tires that had been left on sidewalks, streets, and vacant lots. Fees collected from the program are reinvested in Esperanza’s neighborhood beautification work.
In addition to their unsightly appearance, discarded tires are highly combustible, and provide a breeding ground for insects and vermin such as cockroaches, mice, and rats. They also become filled with standing water after the rain, attracting mosquitoes which can carry diseases such as West Nile Virus. If properly recycled, however, old tires can be converted into a number of useful materials, such as shoe soles and rubber playground surfaces.
“The tire round up is a great way to improve the appearance and health of the neighborhood while providing valuable support for our community programs,” commented Philip Dawson, Esperanza’s Senior Director of Housing and Economic Development. “Together with our commercial corridor cleaning program, our biannual volunteer cleanups, and our NeighborCare Grant Program, the Tire Round-up enables us to support the creation of clean, beautiful blocks in Hunting Park.”