CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.-An advisory panel charged with developing a plan to distribute millions of dollars in tire recycling funds has concluded that burning tires is the best means of recycling used tires. However, some on the panel oppose the recommendation, claiming the group was unduly influenced by panel members whose business is the burning of tires. Five of the 20 panel members either use tires for fuel or hope to in the future.
The advisory committee was created in 1993 to recommend a means of dispensing the money from the state's tire fund in a way that would encourage the reuse of scrap tires.
A 50-cent state tax on all new tires sold has been generating about $2 million a year for the tire fund, according to the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality.
The advisory panel's recommendation, which defines who is eligible for money from the $6.3 million Waste Tire Trust Fund, would put a premium on burning. Those burning tires would get up to $30 for every ton of tires used.
Other recycling methods, such as using the tires in construction projects, would receive around $15 a ton. According to the recommendation, a company would have to use 10,000 tires, equal to 100 tons, to be eligible for reimbursement.
The recommendation will be forwarded to the state Waste Management Board, which will consider it later this year.