Scrap Tire Problems

Approximately 5.9 million scrap tires are generated in Maryland every year. Scrap tires, because of their size and shape and associated environmental hazards caused by improper management practices, present both difficult and costly disposal and recycling challenges for the entities responsible for overseeing their management. Maryland’s response to the management of scrap tires is a nationally recognized success story.

Scrap Tires – A Risk to Public Health and the Environment

Scrap tires can:

  • Provide good living and breeding conditions for mosquitoes that can spread diseases such as Encephalitis, West Nile Virus, and Zika Virus.
  • Provide breeding grounds for rats, snakes, ticks, and other vectors.
  • Present a fire hazard when improperly stockpiled.
  • Emit dangerous oils and soot into the air and water when burned illegally.

How You Can Help Reduce Scrap Tire Problems

Purchase retreaded tires! Approximately 400 million gallons of oil are saved each year due to the use of retreaded tires. 

Properly maintain tires! This extends wear and increases the chance that they can be retreaded. Some helpful tips are:

  • Keep tires inflated at recommended inflation level. Underinflation can waste up to 5% of a car's fuel.
  • Repair punctures, maintain alignment, and rotate tires every 6,000 - 8,000 miles.

To avoid mosquitoes, prevent water accumulation in tires. If you have a tire swing, dock tire bumpers, or tires used to hold down tarps or silage piles, puncture holes in the tires so they won't hold water. You can also purchase environmentally friendly repellents.

For more information on MDE's Scrap Tire Program, please call 410-537-3314.​