Local News

State Could Scrap Tire Recycling Program

Posted May 21, 2002

— The state could end a program it established to keep landfills free of used tires.

In 1989, under the Scrap Tire Act, state legislators made it illegal to dump whole tires in landfills.

That is about the time scrap tire piles increased, cropping up all over the state.

To combat the problem, legislators began funding the tire disposal program in 1994.

Customers were charged a 2 percent tax, or advance disposal fee, with the purchase of new passenger car tires.

The state takes the fees from tire dealers and distributes it to counties based on their size to pay for free tire disposal and recycling programs.

The state also uses the money to clean up piles of scrap tires dumped years ago.

However, three provisions in the law will sunset on June 30, unless legislators extend it.

According to Paul Crissman of the state

Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources

, programs that will be effected are the ones that clean up nuisance tire heaps, that allow state residents to dispose of tires free and programs that promote tire recycling.

The funding of the programs would actually expire. The fee would be reduced to a one percent tax -- a level that Crissman said is insufficient to continue the scrap tire program.

Without the program, tires could pile up again.

"Unfortunately, some tire haulers will look for a low cost alternative which may be at a vacant lot near you," Crissman said.

Scrap tires are a fire hazard and a public health threat.

The tires collect standing water, which becomes a breeding ground for mosquitos. A mosquito common to North Carolina, the Asian tiger mosquito, is known to carry encephilitis, including the deadly West Nile Virus.

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