California Targets Scrap Tire Haulers with Checkpoints by Highway Patrol

Sacramento, CA - At a recent roadside check at the busy Azusa Landfill in Los Angeles County, the California Highway Patrol (CHP) cited over 40 percent of vehicles carrying old tires for violating the state's tire hauler registration law. The checkpoint was operated by the CHP in conjunction with the California Integrated Waste Management Board. The board administers the hauler program and oversees recycling and the safe disposal of an estimated 30 million waste tires generated annually in the state.

"Waste tires pose a very real threat to public health and fire safety if they are not managed properly," said Waste Board Chair Linda Moulton-Patterson. "I'd like to thank the Highway Patrol and local public safety officers for their help in reducing the indiscriminate dumping of old tires by unregistered haulers."

The Azusa Landfill on West Gladstone Street is a permitted facility that accepts inert waste, asbestos-containing waste, nonhazardous solid waste, contaminated soil, and tires. The facility accepts whole and shredded tires from the public for disposal. Whole tires are processed onsite before disposal. Landfill operators have reported a problem with unregistered haulers dumping tires at the site.

On September 24, 2002, a team of Waste Board specialists and officers with the CHP's Commercial Vehicle Unit stopped and checked vehicles entering the Azusa site with loads of tires. The CHP cited the drivers of 10 out of 23 vehicles inspected because they were unregistered waste tire haulers, their vehicles lacked hauler registration, or the required tire manifests were missing, incorrect or incomplete. Two vehicles were impounded when the drivers failed to produce valid driver licenses, vehicle registrations, or any other form of personal identification.

Under an interagency agreement between the Waste Board and the CHP, roadside checks are being conducted at sites around the state that are known to accept waste tires as part of a statewide effort to improve compliance with tire hauler registration and manifest requirements.

California's waste tire hauler law was created in 1993, and hauler registration requirements have been in effect since 1995. The program is an important part of the state's effort to reduce problems associated with waste tires, which can become breeding grounds for mosquitoes and rodents and pose an extreme fire hazard if disposed of improperly. The registration and enforcement activities are funded from the $1 per tire fee collected on all new tires sold in the state.

Any person transporting 10 or more used or waste tires at any one time in California must obtain a hauler registration, and register individual vehicles used to transport tires. Persons or businesses that generate waste tires, haulers, as well as recyclers and disposal site operators must complete and retain copies of the manifests, which are used to track waste tire handling and disposal.