FAYETTEVILLE, Ark.-Tire dealers in northwest Arkansas, where large trucking firms are plentiful, are being asked to cover the extra cost involved in disposing of the thousands of truck tires scrapped in their region. Right now, the area's tires are disposed of by the Four County Solid Waste District in Fayetteville, but that may not last. The agency is spending too much money too fast as it gets rid of the bulky tires from 18-wheelers, said Steven Parker, district director.
As of Sept. 13, the agency had $20,000, which will be used up by the end of the month, he said. Another state check the district expects in October won't last through mid-November, Mr. Parker said.
The district pays $3.32 per truck tire for disposal, he said. But the state provides his agency with less than $1 for each scrap tire, since its allocation formula depends on a region's population, not on the number of waste tires generated there, Mr. Parker said.
The district can continue to run the waste-tire collection operation, but the system is going to have to be funded by dealers who sell such tires, he said.
Dealers around Fayetteville understand Mr. Parker's problems, said Charles Edens, president of the Arkansas Independent Tire Dealers Association.
``The dealers in that area are not happy about it,'' said Mr. Edens, who owns Sherwood Tire Service Inc., in Sherwood, in central Arkansas.
``But there's a unique situation up there because of all the trucking companies. Northwest Arkansas is the hub for them. They generate a lot of waste tires, and they're all truck tires,'' he said. ``The rest of the state doesn't generate nearly as many truck tires.''
Mr. Parker admitted truck tire dealers don't like the idea of higher disposal fees. But another option is to end the tire collection program altogether, he said.
``I don't think it has quite come across to them that I don't have to take their tires,'' Mr. Parker said. ``The district doesn't have to operate a waste tire collection system.''
One alternative for dealers would be taking old tires to Memphis, Tenn. But disposal there costs about $3.50 a tire, plus the costs of delivery, Mr. Parker said. ``As far as I can see, I'm still the cheapest option they've got.''
Arkansas collects a $1.50 fee for each new tire purchased in the state. The funds are divided among tire dealers, the Department of Finance and Administration and the Department of Pollution Control and Ecology. The balance goes to solid-waste districts as waste tire grants, with collecting scrap tires as a principal goal, Mr. Parker said.
Tires from the region now go to a contractor who picks them up at a number of collection centers and takes them to Mountain Home in north central Arkansas, where they are baled and used in a dam construction project.