RD51 - Annual Report on the Waste Tire Pile Cleanups in Virginia - 2003

Executive Summary:

Chapter 101 of the 2003 Acts of the Assembly included a provision that increased the Virginia tire recycling fee from $0.50 to $1.00 for a 3 year period, with all additional revenue dedicated for the removal and recycling of tires from waste tire piles. It also required the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) to submit a report by December 1 of each year to the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Natural Resources and the Chairman of the House Committee on Agriculture, Chesapeake and Natural Resources on the use of these funds and the progress in cleaning up tire piles. This report is submitted to fulfill this requirement.

Waste Tire Piles

Since 1993, DEQ has documented 1,076 tire piles containing 23,923,801 tires across Virginia. Previous efforts cleaned up 698 of the piles, with 378 remaining. Many of the remaining piles are located in challenging terrain and will be expensive to clean up. Coupled with the threat of tire fires and concerns about mosquito infestation and the West Nile virus, the 2003 General Assembly provided extra resources to be used to remove and recycle tires from waste tire piles.

New Cleanup Initiatives and Progress

DEQ has developed 2 additional strategies to facilitate cleanups: one aimed at larger piles, where contractors process tires on-site; and the second in which smaller piles are transported to fixed-based processors. From October 2002 through September 2003, both strategies have resulted in the following tire piles being cleaned up using funds from the Waste Tire Trust Fund (WTTF), created to accept funds collected from the tire recycling fee:

• 7 large piles - 1,625,945 tires - $1,323,950

• 10 small piles - 31,100 tires - $ 25,575

Financial Management

DEQ has adjusted its internal data management systems to track the new revenue and costs associated with the tire pile cleanups. Since the increased tire recycling fees will not accrue to the Waste Tire Trust Fund until mid-December 2003, no information about the amount of funds generated by the July 1, 2003 fee increase was available at the time of this report.