Maryland's Scrap Tire Program
Ever wonder why you pay a 80¢ recycling fee when you buy a tire in Maryland?
Funds collected from the tire fee support the Scrap Tire Program of the
Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) which is dedicated to ensuring
the cleanup of illegal scrap tire stockpiles and for the managed collection, transportation, recycling, and processing of the scrap tires generated in Maryland. Since the inception of the Scrap Tire Recycling Act, MDE has successfully recovered over 8 million scrap tires from illegal stockpiles.
A scrap tire is a tire that can no longer be used for its original purpose. Consider that the average American family owns two cars with four tires each needing to be replaced every two years. In Maryland, that adds up to almost 5.6 million new scrap tires each year requiring proper disposal.
Scrap tire dumps pose a risk to public health and the environment
Scrap tires can:
- Provide good living conditions for mosquitoes that can spread diseases such as Encephalitis and West Nile Virus.
- Provide breeding grounds for rats, snakes and other vectors.
- Present a fire hazard.
- Emit hazardous oils and soot when burned in non-regulated environments.
How you can help to reduce scrap tire problems
- Maintain tire pressure at proper inflation levels to conserve fuel and extend the life of the tires.
- Prevent water accumulation in used tires temporarily stored at home to avoid mosquitoes.
- Ensure that tires are being disposed at a licensed collection facility.
- Ensure that tires are being transferred to a licensed collection facility.
- Buy retreaded tires when possible.
- Report any illegal dumping of tires to MDE or local authorities.
In 1991, the Maryland General Assembly passed the Scrap Tire Recycling Act establishing a program for the cleanup of stockpiled tires and for issuing licenses for the collection, hauling, recycling and processing of scrap tires. A 80¢ per tire recycling fee collected on the first sale of each new tire in Maryland goes into a fund to support MDE’s Scrap Tire Program and to provide funding for scrap tire recycling research and market development.
The Maryland Scrap Tire Recycling Act also prohibits the collection, storage or hauling of scrap tires without a license. It is illegal to dispose of tires by burial in county or municipal landfills.
Illegal dumping of scrap tires is a problem that occurs throughout Maryland. These scrap tire stockpiles are unsightly, pose a fire hazard and provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes and vectors. Illegal scrap tire stockpiles also cost taxpayers and private property owners hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to clean up.
To report illegal dumping activities, please contact the Scrap Tire Program at (800) 633-6101 x3315.
What do you do with your old scrap tires? There are more than 3,000 licensed locations in Maryland where scrap tires are collected, including retail outlets, service stations, and county landfills. To find licensed collection sites that collect scrap tires from the general public call MDE’s Scrap Tire Program at (800) 633-6101 x3315 or contact your county’s solid waste division. Many of these licensed facilities charge a fee for accepting your tires because of the challenges associated with their disposal.
FINDING OTHER USES
MDE is committed to developing "closed loop" recycling systems. In other words, when you have a product that is recyclable such as scrap tires, markets for their end use must also be developed to close the recycling loop.
Some environmentally friendly ways scrap tires are being recycled in Maryland include:
- Scrap tire playgrounds at Maryland State Parks.
- Safety surface materials at public school playgrounds.
- Tire derived fuel for waste-to-energy facilities and cement kilns.
- Sound absorption materials in highway soundwall barriers.
- Footing material for equestrian arenas and horse stalls.
- Tire chips as alternative materials in civil engineering projects.