Alabama Environmentalists Must Structure Plan for Tire Dumps

Environmental officials with revenue from a new scrap tire fee have until October 1st to devise an enforcement plan to remove millions of discarded tires littering Alabama. The new fee could generate more than $3 million this year for cleaning up dump sites.

The state has more than 850 illegal tire dumps that state officials estimate could hold up to 20 million used tires. Last year, the Legislature passed the Scrap Tire Environmental Quality Act that imposed a $1 per tire fee on used tires. The revenue will fund cleanup efforts at illegal dumps and help create markets for the roughly four million scrap tires Alabamians generate every year.

This new law sets aside 40% to 75% of the scrap-tire fund for cleanup projects, and up to 20% to promote markets for the recycled tires. No more than 20% can be used for administration. By December 30th, the state had collected more than $843,000 in tire disposal fees, state revenue officials said.

At that rate, Alabama could collect about $3.4 million its first year -- about $400,000 short of what the state estimated it would collect.