Environmental Law Blog
Waste Tires are Scrap!
The federal Environmental Protection Agency reports that 290 million scrap tires are generated each year. Missourians alone generate approximately 5 million scrap tires each year. A variety of pests, including mosquitoes capable of carrying the West Nile Virus, breed and live in old tires. Tires also take up much-needed landfill space. Tires release harmful pollutants into the environment, particularly if they catch fire. One passenger car tire may produce 2 gallons of oil when burned. And they mar the beauty of Missouri's rolling hills and blight our urban landscapes. Its easy to see why we have to do something about waste tires.
Missouri law prohibits the dumping of solid waste. Section 260.270.1(1), RSMo. This includes scrap tires. Scrap tires may only be taken to or disposed of at facilities granted permits by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. Scrap tire haulers and collection points also must have permits issued by DNR. Section 260.270.1, RSMo. Before being disposed of, scrap tires must first be cut, chipped or shredded. Section 260.270.1(6), RSMo. Violations of the tire law may be prosecuted as misdemeanors. Violators may also be ordered to pay civil penalties.
Missouri law imposes a fee of fifty cents for each new tire that is sold in Missouri. Section 260.273.2, RSMo. This tire fee is deposited in the Solid Waste Management Fund, which was established to provide a funding resource that could be directed to a variety of different projects, including cleanup activities and the elimination of illegal dumping operations in Missouri. Section 260.335, RSMo."
The Attorney General's Office has prosecuted numerous cases that lead to the cleanup of illegal scrap tire dumps. We will continue to work with the Missouri Department of Natural Resources to address waste tire sites when they arise. If you know about a waste tire site with more than 500 scrap tires, you can submit a complaint to us online by clicking here.