It wasn’t until after the September flood waters receded to their banks that Sherwood Langley discovered the water had swept more than 1,000 tires onto his 13-acre property adjacent to Evans.
After losing his wife the year before and battling cancer himself, Langley, who is in his mid-eighties, didn’t have the resources to gather the tires and remove them. He scheduled a meeting with the Weld County Planning Department in late February and expressed his inability to tackle the issue. The county determined there was no county service available to assist in the removal. But that didn’t stop county employees Bethany Pascoe, code compliance officer, and Planning Director Tom Parko from taking on the project themselves during their free time and helping Langley get rid of the tires.
Parko contacted Greg Cicero of CH2E, who operates the former Tire Mountain near Hudson, who agreed to accept all the tires free of charge. While this helped, Langley still didn’t have the resources to gather and transport the tires. So Pascoe got her church, Westview Church of Christ, involved.
“My church did quite a bit of flood relief with the folks in Evans,” Pascoe said. “My minister told me we still had some finances available. The congregation decided to put them toward clearing Sherwood’s land of the tires.”
Forty-one volunteers from the church and another dozen volunteers showed up on Langley’s land on April 5 to begin the process of gathering the tires for transport. On April 12 they returned to remove them.
“They were strewn all about Sherwood’s 13 acres,” Pascoe said. “There were even some in trees.”
Pascoe and Parko also rallied the help of others.
Dave Droegmueller with Agritrack supplied a large front-end loader, two semi-trucks and drivers. The church offered to pay for the gas, but Droegmueller covered the cost himself. Jim Blumenthal with Trailer Source donated a trailer to haul the tires, and other volunteers brought pickup trucks. It took four trips for each of the semi-trucks to take tires to CH2E; something Pascoe said would have been costly for fuel had Droegmueller not covered it.
“It was the right thing to do,” Parko said. “And without the help of the community this never would have been possible.”
Pascoe said while they’re not positive where all the tires came from, she said there could have been some silage pits upstream, and knows there were also commercial junkyards upstream from Langley.
After making multiple trips, Pascoe said about 300 tires remain on Langley’s property.
“We’re trying to get a hold of some local tire companies to see if they’ll volunteer to take a dozen or so and remove the rims. CH2E has agreed to take the rest of the tires if we can get the rims removed from them,” Salzman said.
To help, contact Bethany Pascoe at firstname.lastname@example.org.