The state of Ohio has cleaned up 30 million scrap tires within its borders in a concerted 14-year effort, according to the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (OEPA).
Twenty-two million of those tires have been cleaned up since 1995, under the aegis of the $1 scrap tire fee levied on each new tire sold in the state, an OEPA spokeswoman said.
The rest, some 8 million tires in 88 sites across the state, have been removed since 1990 in a combination of local enforcement and funding. The largest scrap tire pile in the state-the notorious Kirby's Tire Recycling Inc. pile near Sycamore, Ohio, about 50 miles south of Toledo-should be complete by June 2006, the EPA spokeswoman added.
Buried residual material at the Kirby site, comprising about 5 million to 7 million tires, is scheduled to be removed by 2010.
At one time containing an estimated 20 million to 40 million tires, the Kirby site made headlines in August 1999 when some 6 million of its tires ignited, causing flames soaring as high as 200 feet. In 2000, the state estimated that the Kirby cleanup would cost $30 million.
Liberty Tire Services Inc. of Grove City, Ohio, holds the tire removal contract at the Kirby site, while August Mack Environmental Inc. has the contract for groundwater and soil remediation.
Once the Kirby cleanup is completed, the state will be able to concentrate on tire abatement on approximately 100 sites across Ohio, the spokeswoman said.
The state has identified some two dozen dumps containing 30,000 to 750,000 tires, and at least another 76 containing up to 30,000 tires.
Early in June, the OEPA ordered the proprietor of one of the smaller dumps-John Grimes of Grimes Auto Salvage, near Mingo Junction, Ohio-to spray and properly remove some 19,000 scrap tires from his property, as well as to pay a $2,500 fine.
The state will begin tire abatement on the property in 2006 if Mr. Grimes doesn't comply with the agency's order, the spokeswoman said.