Towards the end of 2015, the Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District launched an awareness campaign, aimed at informing the communities about penalties of tire dumping.
Dan Palmer, Director of the Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District, visited with law enforcement agencies, scrap yards and many other places passing out posters, addressing the possible penalties that could be imposed if someone is caught dumping tires.
“We’ve visited about 60 entities in the last three weeks. I have been all over Scioto County hoping to hit everybody (with awareness posters) and the response has been good,” Palmer said. “Everyone from tire distributors, tire dealers, new car dealers to the police, state patrol and sheriff. Everyone has been very receptive.”
Part of the awareness campaign is educating the community on environmental laws concerning tires.
“We want to educate them (community) on the ten tire rule. Under the law you cannot haul more than ten tires in the back of a truck, unless you are a registered transporter,” Palmer said.
Those wishing to transport more than 10 tires at a time are required to register with the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to become a Scrap Tire Transporter.
“In Scioto and Lawrence counties there is no one registered (as a Scrap Tire Transporter). Most people are using is DTR in Ashland or Porter Tire Center in Olive Hill Kentucky, which are registered transporters,” Palmer said.
He said one of the goals of the awareness campaign is to cut down on the number of scrap tire dumps in Scioto and Lawrence counties.
“We’ve got two major dumps we have found in Lawrence County. One in the Chesapeake area with roughly 800 tires and one in the Scott Town area with over 400 tires,” Palmer said.
The state of Ohio generates 12 million scrap tires each year. Annually, the EPA removes and disposes of 100,000 illegally dumped scraped tires.
Palmer said the EPA has been providing grants to cleanup illegally dumped scraped tires since the 1980’s and it’s still a problem today.
“We’ve got to do something else, because they (EPA) cannot continue to fund these (scrap tire cleanups). They cleanup so many scrap tire cleanups throughout the state and we apply for those grants,” Palmer said.
The Ohio EPA will award grants to communities throughout the state to fund the proper disposal of illegally dumped scraped tires. To fund the grants offered by the EPA a charge is assessed on each new tire purchased.
Palmer said those grants have proven to be successful locally and without them the Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District could not afford to fund cleanups.
“We’ve got inform, educate and hold people responsible for this,” Palmer said. “Since I’ve taken over in 2007 we’ve not stopped finding tire dumps.”
Palmer said he’s hopeful to hold several tire cleanup events throughout the district in 2016.
The Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District Enforcement Officer has been instructed to have zero tolerance, when it comes to people illegally dumping tires.
Those caught illegally dumping tires can be charged with a felony, a fine between $10,000 to $25,000 and two to four years in jail.
“I don’t think people are aware how serious this is,” Palmer said.
He said one of the key components of the awareness campaign is public support.
“If you see a truck with a large amount of tires that has no signage on it, report it to the sheriff or the state patrol and they will contact us,” Palmer said. “If you see someone out in the county dumping tires report it, get a license plate number and get it to us. I can assure you, we will prosecute.”
The Lawrence Scioto Solid Waste Management District can be reached at 740-532-1231 or toll-free at 1-888-565-7888.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT