Because the issue of scrap tire dumping is so prevalent throughout Ohio, the Organization of Solid Waste Districts of Ohio, in partnership with the County Commissioners Association of Ohio and the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have partnered to hold a scrap tire management summit later this month.
Dan Palmer, Director of the Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District said he’s excited about the summit and is hopeful to present the issue from a southern Ohio perspective.
Since late last year the Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District, has been involved in an awareness campaign, aimed at informing the communities about penalties of tire dumping.
As a part of the campaign Palmer visited with law enforcement agencies, scrap yards and many other places passing out posters, addressing the possible penalties that could be imposed if someone is caught dumping tires.
“I have been all over Scioto County hoping to hit everybody (with awareness posters) and the response has been good,” Palmer said. “Everyone from tire distributors, tire dealers, new car dealers to the police. state patrol and sheriff. Everyone has been very receptive.”
Part of the awareness campaign is educating the community on environmental laws, concerning tires.
“We want to educate them (community) on the ten tire rule. Under the law you cannot haul more than ten tires in the back of a truck, unless you are a registered transporter,” Palmer said.
Those wishing to transport more than 10 tires at a time are required to register with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to become a Scrap Tire Transporter.
“In Scioto and Lawrence Counties there is no one registered (as a Scrap Tire Transporter). Most people are using is DTR in Ashland or Porter Tire Center in Olive Hill Kentucky, which are registered transporters,” Palmer said.
The state of Ohio generates 12 million scrap tires each year. Each year the EPA removes and disposes of 100,000 illegally dumped scraped tires.
Palmer said the EPA has been providing grants to cleanup illegally dumped scraped tires since the 1980’s and it’s still a problem today.
“We’ve got to do something else, because they (EPA) cannot continue to fund these (scrap tire cleanups). They cleanup so many scrap tire cleanups throughout the state and we apply for those grants,” Palmer said.
The Ohio EPA will award grants to communities throughout the state to fund the proper disposal of illegally dumped scraped tires. To fund the grants offered by the EPA a charge is assessed on each new tire purchased.
Palmer said those grants have proven to be successful locally and without them the Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District could not afford to fund cleanups.
Palmer said the campaign has had positive results in Scioto and Lawrence Counties.
“The poster has reawakened people to the fact, that it’s a felony to illegally dump tires,” Palmer said.
Those caught illegally dumping tires can be charged with a felony, a fine between $10,000 to $25,000 and two to four years in jail.
“I don’t think people are aware how serious this is,” Palmer said.
He said one of the key components of the awareness campaign is public support.
“If you see a truck with a large amount of tires that has no signage on it, report it to the sheriff or the state patrol and they will contact us,” Palmer said. “If you see someone out in the county dumping tires report it, get a license plate number and get it to us. I can assure you, we will prosecute.”
The Scrap Tire Management Summit will be held in Columbus on March 24.
The Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District can be reached at 740-532-1231 or (888) 565-7888.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT