PDT Staff Writer
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency has been in the region cleaning up 15,000 illegally dumped tires in Scioto and Lawrence Counties at a cost of more than $100,000.
According to Dan Palmer, Director of the Lawrence-Scioto County Solid Waste Management District, an illegal tire dump was found in Scioto County last summer containing an estimated 13,000 scrap tires.
Palmer said the dump was located, right below the Greenup Dam, where the river takes a turn toward Wheelersburg.
“We discovered over 13,000 tires on the bank of the Ohio River,” Palmer said.
Palmer said upon the discovery, the Ohio EPA was contacted and they brought in McGinnis Barge Company based out of South Point to help in the cleanup of the tires.
“From the barge to the river bank, they were able to loop about 30 tires at a time and brought them onto the boat. The project took about a week and they retrieved over 13,000 tires, at an expense to the EPA of over $89,000,” Palmer said.
He said the Ohio EPA covered the full expense of the cleanup.
Palmer said Steve Hileman, District Environmental Officer, has been investigating a scrap tire dump in Lawrence County for the last two months.
“We brought the EPA down to assist us with the investigation. Because we have a limited budget to cleanup tires. The EPA took on the project,” Palmer said.
He said the dump was located on a piece of property that was for sale, with the owner unaware of the tires.
“We estimate there are close to 5,000 tires dumped there. The property is a mile off County Road 6 in Lawrence County. The EPA started the cleanup last week and brought in heavy duty equipment to extract these tires,” Palmer said. “Crews are working today (Thursday) to bring these tires off of the hill to be transported to Liberty Tire Service in Columbus, Ohio. All of the tires will be recycled.”
According to, www.libertytire.com, “scrap tires collected by Liberty Tire Recycling are processed and refined by size-reduction techniques designed to achieve a range of particle sizes as small as 600 microns. Various mesh sizes of crumb rubber become the ideal raw material for a wide variety of applications, including molded rubber goods and adhesives.
Larger sizes are used for civil engineering applications as a substitute for stone aggregates, or as fuel to power kilns, mills and power plants. Smaller sizes are incorporated into a number of industrial, athletic field, paving and landscaping applications, among others.”
Palmer said it’s unknown what the final cost of the cleanup in Lawrence County will be. He said it’s estimated to cost at least $35,000.
Palmer met with Scioto County Sheriff Marty Donini to make him aware of the situation. He said under Ohio law, individuals are only permitted to haul no more than 10 tires. He said those caught hauling more than 10 tires can be charged with a felony.
“If you see anybody hauling tires at night with 20 or 30 tires in a truck, they are up to no good. Follow them and report to us where these tires are taken,” Palmer said.
Palmer said he has applied for a grant through the Ohio EPA to conduct another scrap tire amnesty program.
“We did this program three years ago with three sites in Scioto County and three sites in Lawrence County. This would enable people to bring in their tires to have them property disposed of,” Palmer said. “We try to provide opportunities for people to get rid of their tires in the right manner. This way there is no excuse for open disposal like that, especially in the river.”
He said the discovery of these kinds of tire dumps proves there is a need to hold scrap tire amnesty events in both counties.
Palmer said it is his belief that tires are being brought to the area from around the region to be dumped.
“We think these tires are being brought in by someone hauling from either West Virginia or Kentucky over here at night and illegally disposing of them,” Palmer said. “So, we need the assistance of the public as well as the sheriff and keeping them informed. We need the public, if they see anything like this happening, report it to our office.”
For more information call the LSSWMD 740-532-1231.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or email@example.com