DENVER (June 6, 2014) — Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed a bill designed to clean up the state’s 60 million-plus stockpiled scrap tires.
The bill, which Hickenlooper signed June 6, is the culmination of seven years of effort by the Rubber Manufacturers Association to enact legislation that would address Colorado’s two tire monofills, the largest in the U.S.
“Colorado needs this legislation to end the stockpiling of waste tires, clean up the monofills and help establish new markets for discarded tires,” said RMA Vice President Michael Blumenthal, who led the effort to pass the bill.
The bipartisan bill establishes a plan for closing and cleaning up the monofills; ends an inefficient taxpayer-funded subsidy program to end-users of scrap tires.
The Colorado monofills comprise more than half of the estimated 100 million stockpiled waste tires left in the U.S., according to the RMA. In 1990, when the association began its scrap tire abatement efforts, there were more than 1 billion stockpiled scrap tires in the U.S., the RMA said.
The bill — THB 1352 — abolishes Colorado’s existing scrap tire laws and its waste tire advisory commission. It consolidates all responsibility for regulating tires to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. It expands the current $1.50 disposal fee on new passenger tire purchases to cover purchases of all tires, but reduces the fee to 55 cents per tire on Jan. 1, 2018.
Also on Jan. 1, 2018, the state’s end-users fund and waste tire market development fund will be abolished. On that date, all collected scrap tire fees will begin going to the waste tire administration, enforcement and cleanup fund.
The bill also sets stringent new requirements for tire storage by waste tire haulers and processors; forbids adding to the state’s waste tire monofill after Jan. 1, 2018; and closes the monofill permanently by July 1, 2024.
Among the initiatives to be funded via the fees collected will be the creation of a waste tire innovative technology business development, grant, loan and incentive-funding program to assist in creating waste tire business opportunities and jobs in the tire recycling sector.
The bipartisan legislation was sponsored by Reps. Max Tyler, D, District 23, and Don Coram, R, District 58, whom Mr. Blumenthal lauded for their hard work in "securing the needed support" for this legislation.