APRIL 2010

Ohio EPA cleans up nearly 7,000 scrap tires

The Ohio EPA helped clean up and recycle 6,780 scrap tires at 10 illegal dumps in Gallia, Jackson, Meigs and Vinton counties. Funding for the cleanups came from Ohio’s Scrap Tire Management Fund, which is comprised of a $1 fee collected on new tires sold in Ohio. Ohio EPA’s Scrap Tire Management Program oversees the state-financed cleanup of tire piles in Ohio that pose the most significant threats to human health, public safety and the environment.

If a landowner fails to remove scrap tires at larger sites, Ohio EPA can hire a contractor to remove the tires, and the owner will be required to reimburse the Agency’s costs. For sites with 100 to 2,000 scrap tires, Ohio EPA’s Scrap Tire Management Program invites eligible landowners to voluntarily participate in a Consensual Scrap Tire Removal Agreement. As part of this agreement, the state undertakes the collection, removal and proper disposal of up to 2,000 scrap tires of any size and other solid wastes at a property at no cost to the property owner. Ohio EPA hires contractors and often partners with local health departments to clean up the tires. Participating landowners sign an agreement, stating that they either inherited the property with scrap tires on it or were the victim of open dumping.

The scrap tires removed from Gallia, Jackson, Meigs and Vinton counties last month included a mixture of passenger tires and tractor trailer tires. Since a tractor trailer tire weighs about 100 pounds (five times more than a passenger tire), Ohio EPA calculates cleanups in terms of passenger tire equivalents (PTEs). The 6,780 scrap tires cleaned up from these four counties last month equal 8,073 PTEs. Since 2005, a total of 117,591 PTEs have been removed from 63 sites in these four counties which collectively form the Gallia-Jackson-Meigs-Vinton Solid Waste Management District. For the state’s consensual removal program, the limit of 2,000 scrap tires is based on actual tires, not PTEs.

Gallia County – 2,780 PTEs weighing nearly 28 tons were removed from a property on Vaughn Road. This cleanup involved a mixture of 1,280 passenger tires and 300 tractor trailer tires.

Jackson County – 361 PTEs weighing nearly four tons were removed from a dump on Dark Hollow Road last month.

Meigs County – 3,870 PTEs weighing nearly 39 tons were removed from properties at State Route 124 and Elk Run Road, a dump on Blake Hill Road and scrap tires staging areas at the Rutland Township Garage and Salem Township Garage.

Vinton County – 1,062 PTEs weighing more than 10 tons were removed from three separate dumps on Malone Road, Minerton Road and Goose Creek Road.

Since 1998, Ohio EPA has helped clean up approximately 4.3 million PTEs in Southeast Ohio and 38 million PTEs across the state at a cost of nearly $51 million. Each year, more than 12 million scrap tires are generated in Ohio. While many of these tires are recycled (an estimated 84 percent) or otherwise properly disposed, some end up in stockpiles or in illegal dumps. An estimated two million scrap tires remain in illegal dumps in Ohio.

As a complement to Ohio EPA’s Consensual Scrap Tire Removal Agreement, the Ohio Department of Natural Resources (ODNR) offers a tire amnesty grant to help promote sustainable scrap tire collection drive programs, as well as scrap tire drop off and cleanup events. Ohio EPA can transfer up to $500,000 per year to Division of Recycling & Litter Prevention from the state’s Scrap Tire Fund for scrap tire amnesty days and scrap tire cleanups at the local level. ODNR is using this money to fund the grant and will accept applications through April 5, 2010.