November 14, 2002

DNR Offers Help In Cleaning Up Waste Tire Sites

The Missouri Department of Natural Resources will provide all Missouri property owners the opportunity to report illegal waste tire dumps on their property. The owners are then eligible to have the waste tires cleaned up at approximately 10 percent of the current actual costs of removal. Although entities that generate waste tires in the normal course of business activities are eligible for this program, they would be required to pay an additional monetary penalty.

Property owners must meet certain criteria before property owners are eligible for the program. They must notify the department by April 30, 2003. In addition, there is a limit on the size of the waste tire dump. The waste tire dumps must contain more than 500 passenger tire equivalents and less than 20,000 passenger tire equivalents.

A passenger tire is a tire with a bead diameter of 16 inches or less. Large truck tires, like those on semi tractors and trailers, count as five passenger tire equivalents. Under this program, the owner would pay approximately 20 cents per passenger tire equivalent.

Illegal waste tire dumps pose serious environmental and health threats. Mosquitoes, rats and other vectors that grow and breed in these dumps can transmit diseases, such as the West Nile Virus. Fires at tire dumps can release hazardous substances to the air, soil and water sources.

These cleanups are funded in part from the state's 50-cent-per-tire waste tire fee. To date, 10.4 million tires across Missouri have been cleaned up with the funds from this fee.

For more information, contact Dan Fester or Byron Murray in the department at 1-800-361-4827 or (573) 526-7635.

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