SACRAMENTO, Calif.—The California Integrated Waste Management Board will require that shredded and otherwise altered tires going to landfills be placed in monofill cells.
The recent action came in anticipation of about 6 million more waste tires entering the disposal stream each year in the absence of the Modesto Energy Limited Partners (MELP), a tires-to-energy power plant that closed in January.
Board staffers have been conducting workshops to gain information for adopting tire monofill rules since June.
However, the CIWMB has yet to adopt any regulations from the information it has received from the workshops, a waste board spokesman said.
The MELP plant burned 6 million tires per year but closed after a fire last year destroyed much of an adjacent tire pile that had been the reason for the plant being built there.
The board hopes to gain guidance from industry representatives on whether to implement the monofill rules under the board's solid waste facilities regulations or its tire regulations, said Martha Gildart, supervising engineer for the board's waste tire management branch.
The board indicated a desire to be consistent, but industry representatives don't seem to think consistency is an issue, she said.
If tires are disposed of under solid waste regulations, the landfill operator must monitor and control gas, even though tires make none, and must maintain the facility for a 30-year post-closure program, she said. But under tire rules those measures do not apply.
Tire rules might be even more stringent, however. At the now-dormant California Asbestos Monofill (CAM) near Copperopolis, temporary rules developed by the board and the owners required that the shredded tires be stored to prevent the spontaneous fires that can occur under certain circumstances when tires get wet, Ms. Gildart said.
The monofill regulations are required under the law establishing the waste board's duties, which decreed that the board place one landfill in "each region of the state to accept and store shredded tires...separate from other solid waste and...in a manner that will encourage their removal for future use."
No landfill operators ex-pressed interest in running such an enterprise, so no monofills were created at the time, Ms. Gildart said.
However, the operator of what was known as the Oxford Tire pile, located adjacent to the MELP plant, proposed a monofill there in 1997, but was unable to receive approval from the CIWMB.
"They told me to go ahead and come up with a plan, but after I did the plan just went nowhere," said Mark Kirkland, who was president of the now-bankrupt Oxford Tire Recyclers.
Waste Management Inc., which operates both the CAM and Azusa landfills, is comfortable operating under standard landfill rules and could operate as well under special tire rules once the board adopts them, according to Charles White, the company's director of legislative affairs for the western United States.
"We operated CAM under temporary authorization back in '98 and '99, anticipating that the board would adopt its rules for tire monofills," he said.
The shredded tires were buried in the pits of an asbestos mine with temperature sensors to warn of any warming of the tires.
The site has been trouble-free since, Mr. White said.