Press Release

BALTIMORE, MD (May 24, 2000) – Today the State Board of Public Works approved a cut in the tire recycling fee on the sale of each new tire sold in Maryland. The Board’s action set the new recycling tire fee at 40 cents per tire. The new rate will take effect July 1. During the 2000 legislative session, the General Assembly had passed legislation allowing the new rate up to 40 cents. Previously the recycled tire fee was $1 per tire.

"Since the passage of the Scrap Tire Act in 1991, Maryland’s Department of the Environment (MDE) has administered cleanup of illegal scrap tire stockpiles throughout the state using the original $1 per tire fee," said MDE Secretary Jane T. Nishida. "To date, MDE has successfully recovered approximately 7.2 million scrap tires from over 315 former illegal stockpiles in Maryland."

Funds collected from the fee support major components of the MDE's Scrap Tire Program including licensing activities, enforcement and compliance, and stockpile cleanups.

Current Scrap Tire Funds are dedicated to cleanup costs of an estimated 1.3 million illegal scrap tires at 74 on-going or planned cleanup sites. New illegal dumpsites are added to the cleanup list on a regular basis as a result of MDE's field inspections and citizen complaints.

"Continuation of the recycling tire fee will allow the agency to continue its monitoring of scrap tires and pursue perpetrators who illegally and unscrupulously dump tires in waterways and makeshift landfills across the state," said MDE Waste Management Administration Director Rick Collins.

With the passage of the reduced recycling fee, MDE will maintain the Scrap Tire Program established as a mechanism for the cleanup of scrap tire stockpiles and for the managed collection, transportation, recycling or processing of 5 million scrap tires generated annually in Maryland. Currently, there are approximately 3,300 licensed scrap tire facilities and haulers in the state. Since 1993, more than $11.6 million of the fund has been invested in developing marketable uses for scrap tires, such as landfill capping, constructing tire playgrounds and highway soundwall barriers.

Scrap tire dumps pose a risk to public and environmental health. Tire fires can generate thick, black noxious odors and produce oil from the melting tires, which can pollute soils, ground and surface waters. In warmer months following rain, scrap tires become breeding grounds for mosquitoes.

Maryland’s Board of Public Works is chaired by Governor Parris N. Glendening and includes State Treasurer Richard N. Dixon and Comptroller William Donald Schaefer. The Board is authorized by the General Assembly to approve major construction and consultant contracts, equipment purchases, property transactions and other procurements actions.