By Wayne Allen
Officials with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District were in Wheelersburg Wednesday, cleaning up a tire dump off Hayport Road.
Dan Palmer, director of the Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District, estimates 1,000 tires of various types and sizes that were dumped. Palmer said Greg Warner, of Porter Township, discovered the dump and informed both agencies. Tires were located throughout the site and a far as a half-mile into the woods. The EPA brought in equipment to make a path to get to the tires and extract them.
Palmer said finding places like that are not uncommon throughout Scioto and Lawrence County. He said one issue with cleaning sites like this is there is no way to tell who dumped them or where they came from.
“We run into this problem in both counties, it’s virtually impossible to determine where they (tires) come from. That is something we’ve discussed at Ohio EPA meetings, if there was some coding to track the tire, but no one has the answer,” Palmer said. “This is not going to cease. You have people throwing them here, there and everywhere. This is a major problem the district is confronted with.”
Palmer recalled a few years ago when a tire dump was discovered in Lawrence County that contained 40,000 tires, and cost an estimated $80,000 to cleanup.
The EPA funded the Hayport Road clean up through a fund set aside for this purpose. The fund enables the EPA to address large tire piles. The EPA estimates more than 43 million tires have been removed from stockpiles or illegal dumps in Ohio since 1996, with this funding. An estimated five million scrap tires remain in illegal dumps in Ohio.
“We don’t have the funds to clean sites like this. If we can work it out with the EPA they have money to clean sites like this up,” Palmer said.
The tires, once collected, will be taken to Liberty Tire in Columbus for recycling. According to www.libertytire.com, “By reclaiming more than 33 percent of the nation’s discarded tires, Liberty Tire annually transform more than 140 million tires into raw materials for smart, sustainable products that improve people’s lives.”
It’s estimated the dump on Hayport Road will take roughly three days to clean up.
Tips about illegal dumps of trash or tires can be reported to the Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District at 740-532-1231.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT