HONOLULU (May 5, 2000)—If it´s signed into law, a new scrap tire bill will charge all Hawaiian businesses that import tires, including tire dealers and wholesalers, a fee of $1 per tire.
The Hawaiian state legislature approved the bill on May 2. It would become effective July 1 if signed by the governor. Hawaii´s Department of Health (DOH) would oversee administration and enforcement of the new law, according to the bill´s language.
The legislation would require all facilities that accept used tires—including tire retailers, wholesalers, transporters, collectors and recyclers—to maintain, for at least three years, records of where the tires were received, date of receipt and the quantity received.
Those records also must include the ultimate destination of the used tires, the transporter´s identification, date of shipment and the quantity shipped.
Dealers would pay the surcharge to the state quarterly and submit documentation identifying the number of tires they sold for that quarter. Those who sell 200 or fewer new tires annually can submit documentation and payments annually.
Importers of fewer than 50 tires are exempt from the bill.
Penalties for violators would start at $1,000 and could reach up to $10,000 per day for each separate offense, depending on the severity of the violation, according to a DOH spokeswoman.
The state plans to deposit money collected from the fee into an environmental management fund to support permitting, monitoring and enforcement activities related to tire management, such as cleaning up Hawaii´s illegal tire dumps, said Gary Gill, deputy director of the Department of Health.
However, the DOH has no specific plans on other tire recycling and prevention programs at this time, the agency spokeswoman said.
Mr. Gill said the state estimates $1 million would be generated from the tire fees. "Many millions of tires are stacked up on each island," he noted, and before expiring in five years, the proposed law would clean them up.
The bill comes as no surprise to John Mayo, owner of Lex Brodie´s Tire Co., Hawaii´s largest dealership. He said state legislators never consulted him or any tire dealer he knows about the practicality of a $1 per tire fee.
"Hawaii is long known for its anti-business position as it relates to any and every issue," Mr. Mayo said. "I´m surprised (the fee is) not more, knowing how greedy these guys (in government) are."
He noted that the islands only have two licensed tire haulers that already charge tipping fees of $1.25 to $1.50 per tire for disposal. The tax would cost Lex Brodie, which operates six outlets, an additional $8,000 to $10,000 in disposal costs, Mr. Mayo estimated.
Ultimately, that dealership and others will have to pass on the fee to consumers who buy new tires, he said.
Hawaii presently has a statute for "proper disposal" of scrap tires, yet the state has illegal piles, the DOH spokeswoman said, though she couldn´t recall the number of piles or tires. The state has no tire fees or enforcement provisions for illegal dumping at this time.
Tires in Hawaii are either disposed in a landfill, burned in cement kilns or shipped to the U.S. mainland, Mr. Mayo said.