Jalisco’s Ministry of the Environment and Territorial Development (SEMADET) has given the Chapala government a short deadline to clean-up and relocate a used tire depository that went up in flames in the pre-dawn hours of June 14.
The municipality’s Civil Protection and Firefighter squad doused the smoky conflagration that left the site scorched and littered with scrap rubber and metal. Subsequent inspection of the area revealed evidence that the heap of tires was intentionally torched by one or more vandals whose identities have not yet been determined.
The open plot situated at the gates of the municipal mechanical workshop, bordering the highway on the outskirts of Santa Cruz de la Soledad, has been utilized for many years as a collection point for discarded tires and 56 registered llantero businesses, as well as those retrieved in occasional government clean-ups of local creek beds and Lake Chapala’s shoreline.
When originally set up as a Centro de Acopio in 2011, the tires were stored behind the workshop walls. The disposal area was eventually moved to the highway shoulder due to the saturation of broken down vehicles on the grounds and for greater convenience to users.
According to Chapala Ecology Director Alfredo Gutierrez, up to 2,500 tires accumulated on the site every month before they were taken to the Guadalajara metro area for use as fuel by cement manufacturers and raw material for huarache producers. The local government provided diesel for two large trucks in exchange for this privately-operated service.
SEMADET has ordered the city to clear the fire debris and establish an alternative storage place before the end of next week. Gutierrez suggests that relocation to the interior of the workshop is the best option for an immediate solution.