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Waste Tires

Background Information

photo of a tire pileIn New York State, an estimated 18-20 million waste tires are generated each year (approximately one tire-per-person-per-year). Management of waste tires is regulated by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC). In July 2004, NYSDEC released a comprehensive plan to abate non-compliant waste tire stockpiles.

Enumeration and an assessment of each known non-compliant waste tire stockpile was conducted between August 2003 and May 2004, which identified approximately 95 locations, containing an estimated 29 million tires. Since then, the number has grown to over 160 non-compliant waste tire stockpiles. These 65+ stockpiles are not generally newly generated stockpiles, but are newly discovered through a combination of reports received from the public, response to complaints of environmental concern, or through routine inspection of solid waste management facilities such as vehicle dismantling facilities. It is probable that additional sites will be reported or discovered over the course of the next decade.

Four of the 95 identified sites were estimated to contain over one million waste tires each. Waste tires and piles of waste tires pose challenges and problems, including their potential as mosquito breeding locations and potential for fire.

Legislation

The "Waste Tire Management and Recycling Act of 2003" (Act) (PDF) (33kb) was enacted to ensure the proper management of waste tires in New York State. The Act added Title 19 to Article 27 of the Environmental Conservation Law. Title 19 includes the following provisions:

  • Establishment of the Waste Tire Management and Recycling Fund and enactment of a waste tire management and recycling fee of $2.50 per new tire sold, including tires on new motor vehicles. Tire service centers must collect the waste tire management and recycling fee from the purchaser at the time of the sale and remit such fee to the Department of Taxation and Finance. The tire service center shall be entitled to retain an allowance of 25 cents per tire from fees collected. The fee is mandated from September 12, 2003 (the effective date) until December 31, 2010 in the original Act. The termination date of December 31, 2010 was extended twice; in 2010 it was extended until 2013, and again in 2013 it was extended until December 31st, 2016.
  • Mandatory acceptance of used tires from customers by tire service centers until December 31, 2010. Customers may return tires in approximately the same size and in a quantity equal to the number of new tires purchased or installed. Sign posting requirements are also included for tire service centers. The Act was amended twice to extend the requirement for mandatory acceptance; in 2010 it was extended until 2013, and again in 2013 it was extended until December 31st, 2016.
  • Preparation, by the NYSDEC, of a comprehensive plan designed to abate all non-compliant waste tire stockpiles by December 31, 2010. This plan is required to establish a priority list and schedule for abatement of each non-compliant waste tire stockpile based on potential adverse impacts on public health, safety or welfare, the environment, or natural resources. The plan must also include a census of compliant and non-compliant waste tire stockpiles in New York State and the number of waste tires believed to be stored at each site. The plan is to be submitted to the Governor and the Legislature by September 12, 2004. The Act provides NYSDEC with authority to enter all non-compliant waste tire stockpiles for the purpose of investigation and abatement. Note that this plan has been completed as of July 2004. Download a copy of the report or contact DEC for further information.
  • Owners or operators of non-compliant waste tire stockpiles must submit to and/or cooperate with any and all remedial measures necessary for the abatement of non-compliant waste tire stockpiles.
  • Establishment of a prohibition of land burial of waste tires and prescribes that no monies from the waste tire management and recycling fund can be used to dispose of waste tires in a landfill unless NYSDEC has determined that it is not feasible to convert the waste tires to a beneficial use.

Tire Fires

When tire piles burn various environmental problems occur. Significant air pollution results from the incomplete combustion of the tires creating a thick, black, foul-smelling smoke. Additionally, as many of the tires melt and partially burn, an oily discharge usually occurs that can flow into nearby streams, ditches and waterways or can seep into the ground water.

Tire fires are extremely difficult to extinguish and many fire departments that have large local waste tire piles within their jurisdiction have emergency plans in place to deal with the difficulties associated with managing a tire fire.

Locations of Known Tire Fires and the estimated number of tires that burned in NYS from 1989 to the present:

  • Island Wide Recycling, Suffolk County - 100,000 tires
  • Poly-Tech, Dutchess County - Crumb rubber pile
  • Almag Construction, Rensselaer County - 100 tires
  • Casings, Greene County - 2,000,000 tires
  • Dunston Brothers, Albany County- 800-1,000 tires
  • Polsinello Fuels Inc., Rensselaer County - 200-700 tires
  • Burdick, Rensselaer County - Over 10,000 tires
  • Moran C&D, Columbia County - Several thousand tires
  • Northeast, Otsego County - 1,000 - 2,000 tires
  • Tire Conversion Technologies, Inc., Schenectady County - 4,000 tires
  • Waldrons Car Parts, Green County - 3,000-4,000 tires
  • Town of Moriah Landfill, Essex County - 5,000 tires
  • Capco, Clinton County - 1,500 and 100 tires (two fires)
  • Mohawk Tire Recycling, Saratoga County - 500,000 tires
  • A-1 and B&W Auto Parts, Oneida County - 8,000 tires
  • Beutel, Jefferson County - 4,000 tires
  • At-Work Tires, Cortland County - 10,000 tires
  • Parmenter, Schuyler County - 40,000 tires
  • Radesi, Livingston County - 300-400 tires
  • Tire Solutions International, Seneca County - 5,000 tires
  • Hornburg, Chautauqua County - 1,000,000 tires

  • Argyle, Washington County

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