Tired of Tires

By: Lauri Martin
By: Lauri Martin

The small town of Ramah, just outside of Calhan, has a huge eyesore. And you’d have to see it to believe it.

It’s a sea of black, out back, at one man’s home…and it’s the one thing in town that everyone hates: 35,000 tires piled on top of each other. The man who used to live here collected the tires in hopes of getting money for recycling them. Neighbors have been fighting for 7 years to get rid of all these tires. "We went to the county, the state, but then it was back to the town. There is no law that stops people from putting tires in their yards," Dan Vetrano with Same Day Haulin’ Inc said. He’s the one who spearheaded this project.

This weekend, neighbors are finally getting their wish. More than 120 volunteers, equal to the population of Ramah, are working 24 hours a day, loading tires into trucks. Nearly 30 semis are filled so far. “We had people (volunteering) come as far as Denver,” Vetrano said.

The crews wear gloves. Who knows what lurks inside the tires? In the past 3 days, they've seen mosquitoes, snakes and skunks. "Yesterday, the smell carried throughout the town."

But, extreme clean up is an overdue relief for Ramah residents. Kathleen Landry lives right next-door to the mess. "Just a lot of emotions right now. I can now stand in my backyard and not see the tires."

This area, that some even called tire town, may be losing its infamous and unsightly landmark, but neighbors are gaining some long-awaited satisfaction.

Recycling the tires will cost at least $10,000 dollars and residents are looking for any kind of help. If you would like to help, send money to: Farmer’s State Bank, c/o Ramah Tire Clean-Up, P.O. Box 9, Calhan, CO 80808

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