In October of 2020, Mendocino Redwood Company discovered of an extensive number of tires that had been illegally dumped near a creek on company property in Sonoma County, California. The site is in a redwood forest in the upper watershed of Freezeout Creek, a fish-bearing tributary stream to the Russian River. In addition to 72 tires, three 55-gallon drums were found partially filled with oil along with several corroded car batteries, a keg, propane tanks, buckets, and scrap metal.
Researching options, company staff discovered ranch cleanup grants for these types of illegal dump sites handled through the Gold Ridge Resource Conservation District (Gold Ridge RCD) and CalRecycle. Gold Ridge RCD applied for and received funding in the amount of $16,000 from CalRecycle’s Farm and Ranch Solid Waste Cleanup and Abatement Grant Program. The funds will be used to separate the tires from their rims at a local tire business, haul rims and tires to a recycling center, purchase drums to store the oil for safe transportation and disposal, and the purchase of appropriate containers for the batteries.
In August 2021, volunteers assembled by our friends at Gianni Cycling Association, assisted company staff in removing the tires and other associated debris, except for the oil drums and batteries, which will be removed and disposed of properly once special containers arrive at the Gold Ridge RCD.