AKRON-Are independent tire dealers having problems disposing of scrap tires? For the most part, no, according to a TIRE BUSINESS survey of state tire dealer association executives. Only six of 21 executives surveyed viewed scrap tire disposal as a problem for their dealer members, while one said it depended on the area. The remainder said tire disposal posed no difficulty.
Despite the generally positive response, some execs did express concern, particularly for the future, as a result of pending changes in state regulations.
In Louisiana, for example, a law set to go into effect in January 1995 would allow the state Department of Environmental Quality to keep the $2-per-tire tax on new-tire sales, paying recyclers a disposal fee of 70 cents per tire.
While this proposal has some merit, Norm Rhea, executive director of the Louisiana Independent Tire Dealers Association, said the negatives outweigh the positives.
Under the current law, tire dealers in Louisiana collect $2 for each new tire sold, keeping half to pay for tire disposal. Disposal fees range from $1 per auto tire to as much $10 for a truck tire.
Tires would be picked up for free under the proposed law, with the state paying the recyclers.
The problem, Mr. Rhea said, is whether or not, at 70 cents per tire, recyclers can afford to pick up the tires. This is particularly true for smaller dealers who may not generate enough tires to warrant regular pickups. ``We think it ought to be 85 cents per tire,'' Mr. Rhea added.
The association plans to fight the proposed law in the state legislature once hearings are held.
In West Virginia, dealers who cut their own tires for landfilling will have trouble disposing of them after June 1, 1995, according to Floyd Sayre, executive director of the West Virginia Independent Tire Dealers & Automotive Service Association. That's when the state's landfills stop taking tires.
Otherwise, West Virginia dealers are having few problems with tire disposal, he said.
``There's not enough people legally hauling (scrap tires),'' said Richard Nordness, executive director of the Northwest Tire Dealers Association. While Waste Recovery Inc. in Portland, Ore., does a good job handling scrap tires generated in the region, it is one of only a few firms doing so legally.
Mr. Nordness said his association favors proposed legislation that would strengthen the current law, set to expire in October.
The measure, which has passed the state legislature, must be approved by the public. It would place heavier restrictions on scrap tire haulers and focus more of the $1-per-new-tire tax on cleaning up existing piles.
``We want to see the state's tire piles cleaned up, in part, because we need to clean up the dealer's image in the general public's eyes,'' he said.