ELKTON, MD (April 28, 2004) -- One of Maryland’s largest illegal scrap tire piles has been cleaned up at no cost to citizens, according to the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE). The cleanup of hundred of thousands of scrap tires stockpiled at Elk Riverview Farm, located in North East (Cecil County) was recently completed after a 3-year effort by the property owner.
Robert Hodge, owner of Elk Riverview Farm, used his own funds and equipment to remove nearly 280,000 tires (2,788.70 tons) from a portion of an 83-acre site. If laid end to end, the tires would stretch roughly 122 miles.
Under Maryland’s scrap tire law, property owners are responsible for the cost of scrap tire cleanups. Working with MDE’s Scrap Tire Program, Hodge chose to perform the cleanup on his own rather than opt for a state-sponsored cleanup requiring reimbursement, saving Maryland taxpayers at least $1 million dollars.
“This cooperative effort is a splendid example of how to achieve positive results for protection and restoration of Maryland’s environment,” said MDE Secretary Kendl P. Philbrick. “At a time when restoration of the Chesapeake Bay watershed is at a critical juncture, Mr. Hodge stepped up in a big way and is to be commended for his dedication and investment that will benefit his immediate community and fellow Marylanders.”
Hodge brought the tire dump to MDE’s attention in March 2000 when he became interested in purchasing the waterfront property that overlooks the North East River and Chesapeake Bay. A previous property owner allowed individuals to illegally dump the scrap tires into a large ravine on the property causing the site to become one of Maryland’s largest illegal scrap tire stockpiles.
The stockpile posed a significant fire hazard. In addition, the tires were infested with mosquitoes, which have the potential to carry West Nile Virus and other diseases. Cleanup of the very large stockpile destroyed the mosquito habitat and breeding ground and has allowed for restoration of a natural wetland area.
The scrap tires were transported to the Harford Waste-to-Energy facility located in Joppa (Harford County) where they were burned as fuel and converted to useful energy.
MDE is responsible for regulating the storage, collection, transfer, hauling, recycling, processing and disposal of scrap tires in the State of Maryland. For more information on Maryland’s Scrap Tire Program, contact MDE’s Solid Waste Program at (410) 537-3315, or visit MDE online at: mde.maryland.gov/programs/Land/RecyclingandOperationsprogram/Pages/scraptire.aspx.