Central New York residents disposed of more than 2,000 tires at free recycling events, hosted by State Senator Patty Ritchie in an effort to help people get rid of waste tires, which often act as breeding grounds for disease-carrying mosquitoes.
The events—which were funded through a special state grant from Senator Ritchie—allowed Oswego County residents to drop off a maximum of four tires at five locations throughout the county, with the usual $5 fee for tire-drop off being waived.
“With one tire acting as a breeding ground for an estimated one million mosquitoes, the more than 2,000 tires we were able to dispose of represent a big step in this year’s fight against insects and the diseases they carry,” said Senator Ritchie.
“I am thrilled to have been able to host these events, and the turn out really speaks volumes to the necessity of providing people with ways to protect themselves—and their loved ones—from mosquitoes, especially during the summer months.”
This year—for the second year in a row—Senator Ritchie was able to secure special funding in the State Budget for an “Eastern Equine Encephalitis Program,” aimed at paying costs of aerial spraying to control mosquitoes, funding a low-cost horse vaccination program and supporting educational outreach to communities affected by the disease.
Last year, through similar funding, nearly 2,000 horses in Upstate New York were protected through a program which provided low-cost vaccines for farmers and horse owners. In addition, more than 3,000 free larvicide treatments were distributed to private landowners and countless numbers of people were provided with tips to help “fight the bite” through the Senator Ritchie’s educational outreach program.
Eastern Equine Encephalitis, commonly known as EEE, is a rare but serious viral disease spread by mosquitoes. There are typically 5-10 human cases in the United States annually; with people over the age of 50 and under the age of 15 at the greatest risk of serious infection. EEE is much more common in horses and has resulted in deaths of dozens of horses in our region in recent years.
(In the above photo, Senator Ritchie is pictured with Paul Scott (Supervisor-Pulaski station) and Oswego County Legislator Margaret Kastler.)