On average, 298 million used scrap tires are generated in the U.S. each year while 33 million are generated in California alone. These scrap tires are among the most common illegally dumped items because of their large size and inability to be compacted. Used tires that have been disposed of illegally contribute greatly to mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile Virus and encephalitis, in addition to harboring other diseases. The sight of these heaps of scrap tires also contributes to urban decay, causing property values to decrease immensely.
Illegally dumped scrap tires are also hazardous to the environment due to the fact that just one used tire contains roughly two gallons of toxic paralytic oil. If this oil were to somehow ignite, the consequences could prove disastrous.
The first used tire disposal laws were passed in 1985 and sought to reduce the growing number of used tire stockpiles. Among the laws passed, tire retailers were required to charge consumers a disposal fee in order to properly dispose of used tires in accordance with federal regulations. Many municipalities also now participate in grant-funded programs that are designed to address the problem of illegally dumped used tires. These grants are used to pay for tire pick-up, disposal, and enforcement of tire recycling laws.
WHAT TO DO:
- Educate the public on proper waste disposal methods and where to find designated disposal facilities
- Announce a Public Service Locally Recognized Day of the year set aside for recycling activities
- Use Illegal Dumping Cameras in remote areas that attract illegal waste disposal