Washington County Health Department officials are encouraging county residents to help with the fight against the West Nile virus by participating in Tire Amnesty Day on Saturday.
Removing tires from property can reduce the odds of exposure to the mosquito-borne virus, Health Officer William Christoffel said.
"Tires are an excellent breeding ground for mosquitoes," Christoffel said Thursday.
The event, sponsored by the Maryland Department of the Environment and the Washington County Solid Waste Department, drew 176 tons of tires last year, about 30 tons more than expected, Recycling Coordinator Harvey Hoch said Thursday.
This is the fourth time Washington County has held a tire amnesty day, Hoch said.
At its Sept. 17 meeting, the Washington County Commissioners agreed to a request by Christoffel to expand from one to seven the number of sites where county residents can, at no charge, dispose of up to six tires. Previously the Forty West Landfill was the only drop-off site.