The city will collect used tires from San Diego residents for free at an event Saturday that is intended to cut down on illegal dumping, Councilman Carl DeMaio announced today.

The event is part of a wider program to reduce the number of vehicle tires that are improperly discarded and to keep them out of the quickly filling Miramar Landfill.

"Many people don't understand that the city's landfill is quickly approaching its capacity and that the disposal of tires in an inappropriate way raises serious concerns to our environment related to contaminants," DeMaio said outside City Hall.

The San Diego municipal code prohibits the dumping of tires in the Miramar Landfill unless they are shredded, and residents are usually assessed a $50 fee to dispose of them.

Used tires collected during the free recycling event will be used as fuel at a cement plant in the San Bernardino County city of Colton. The tires may also be recycled into roadways, playgrounds, tiles and other rubber products.

The event, which is being funded through a $24,000 grant from the California Integrated Waste Management Board, will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mira Mesa High School, 10510 Reagan Road.