AKRON-Many scrap-tire measures state lawmakers took up in 1996 involved the tweaking-rather than overhauling-of programs. States grappled with how to boost markets for reused tires or energy recovery from tires now that many already have scrap-tire regulations in place. To this end, several decided to offer tax credits or grants.
A few states made recycling mandates more aggressive, but more often, states dealt with fee adjustments or record-keeping changes, rather than broader solid-waste policy issues. In some cases, these changes will take more money from the pockets of waste processing/disposal facilities.
The following 12 states have enacted new waste tire laws, or have bills pending in their legislatures.
The Indiana Legislature modified a whole-tire ban that took effect March 21 to allow incidental disposal of small amounts of whole tires at landfills.
The bill, H.B. 1401, or Public Law 123-1996, allows the Department of Environmental Management to determine the specific amounts.
The Legislature also approved S.B. 349, or Public Law 125-1996, which restricts solid-waste districts from getting into any aspect of the waste business, such as collection or recycling, unless those services are unavailable through the private sector at a reasonable cost. That legislation took effect March 21.
The state legislature approved H.F. 2433, the state's first tire management law.
The enactment of the bill makes Iowa one of the last states in the Midwest to pass such legislation.
The act, which will sunset after six years, earmarks funds from an existing vehicle-registration surcharge for grants and cleanup of abandoned tires.
The Legislature passed S.B. 399, a bill revamping tire disposal in Kansas.
While allowing waste companies to continue to bury processed tires in monofills, the law provides at least $500,000 per year in state grants for companies to build or convert plants to recycle tires or burn them for energy.
S.B. 399 also phases out a separate state assistance program by the year 2000. The program provided money to local governments to identify and clean up tire piles.
At the same time, the state's excise tax on new tires will drop from 50 cents to 25 cents in 2000, as the responsibility for identifying and cleaning up tire piles falls to local governments.
The Kentucky legislature approved H.B. 112, a bill that imposes financial-assurance requirements on waste-tire processors and recyclers.
The measure's goal is to ensure that waste-tire facilities are closed properly.
Another measure adopted by the Legislature, H.B. 536, transfers the Kentucky Recycling Brokerage Authority from the Economic Development Cabinet to the Natural Resources Cabinet.
Maine legislators enacted an emergency measure to reduce used-tire stockpiles statewide. Chapter 578, which will take effect March 29, calls on the Department of Economic and Community Development to promote the beneficial reuse of used tires.
Under a companion bill, Chapter 579, a person caught transporting scrap tires to an unauthorized facility could be fined up to $25,000 per violation.
Also, to make it easier for municipalities to meet Maine's 50-percent recycling goal, Public Law 1995, Chapter 552, now lets localities count certain kinds of incineration as recycling.
The new law allows waste burned as a substitute for fossil fuel to count as recycling.
Combustion at waste-to-energy plants also is on the state's list of recycling activities.
The New York state legislature adopted a sweeping environmental bill July 13 that would generate about $175 million for solid-waste programs if it is approved by voters in a statewide referendum Nov. 5.
One other significant piece of legislation would establish tax credits for operations that recycle scrap tires or that use them as fuel.
That measure, A.B. 11225, cleared the legislature and is awaiting the governor's signature.
H.B. 545, which was signed into law Feb. 29, lowers the amount of financial assurance from $50,000 to $20,000 for scrap-tire transporters in Ohio.
The measure also exempts scrap-tire processors from permit and licensing requirements for five years, as long as 75 percent of the tires being processed at the facility are bias-ply.
To address the 36 million waste tires stockpiled in Pennsylvania, H.B. 1929 would create financial incentives to promote the use and recycling of waste tires.
The bill proposes to bar landfills from accepting waste tires unless they have been shredded first or are to be used for alternative purposes on-site.
The bill, which passed the House and is before the Senate, would offer a tax credit for investments in tire-recycling equipment. The bill would establish penalties for violators.
If the bill passes the full Senate, the versions of both chambers still must be reconciled.
The state legislature approved S.B. 25, which sets aside up to $250,000 per year of state solid-waste grant funds to help fund waste-tire collection in the state.
The legislation also sets aside another $250,000 for the next two years. This money is intended to help pay for tire stockpile cleanups.
Utah's part-time legislature passed H.B. 177, which cut the fee charged for each new tire bought from $1 to 50 cents. It also extended the sunset clause of the fee, which was set to expire this year.
The lower fee will be collected until July 2000 to finance disposal of scrap tires by reimbursing recyclers, kilns or landfills for each ton of tires cleaned up.
A new law signed by Gov. Gaston Caperton outlaws the disposal of tires in municipal solid-waste landfills.
Legislation passed last year had put off this deadline by keeping the landfill ban on whole tires in place, but allowing shredded tires to continue to be accepted.
This story is based on a staff report by Waste News, a sister publication of TIRE BUSINESS.