The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is warning the public to not dispose of old or recycled tires at Nationwide Tire Recycling, Inc. (NTR) in Duryea, Luzerne County. The company does not have the proper department-issued permit to accept the tires and anyone who does dispose of tires there could be participating in unlawful activity. In addition, the accumulation of the tires at the site poses environmental issues.
“DEP wants tires disposed at locations that have the proper permits. When the public drops old tires off at volunteer tire-recycling events, they should be sure the tires are going to approved facilities,” said Mike Bedrin, Director of DEP’s Northeast Regional Office in Wilkes-Barre. “We are offering this advice so people won’t put themselves in danger of violating state regulations.”
NTR’s most recent waste management permit allowing it to accept waste tires expired in 2016. Since that time, DEP inspections at the business have determined that more than 10,000 waste tires have been dumped at the site, which is considered a violation of the Solid Waste Management Act. People who dispose of tires at the site could be contributing to the unlawful activity at the site.
In October 2016, DEP issued a Compliance Order to NTR that required it to remove all tires at its location within 90 days. The company has not responded, and DEP is evaluating enforcement options.
The accumulation of waste tires poses the potential for a tire fire, which could burn for extended periods of time, causing the rubber to decompose and pollute ground and surface water, and create air quality issues from noxious fire fumes. Rainwater also accumulates in tire piles, creating an ideal environment for mosquitoes, which are known to transmit West Nile Virus.
For a list of DEP-permitted waste tire processors in Pennsylvania, visit http://www.dep.pa.gov/Business/Land/Waste/SolidWaste/Tires/Pages/Processors.aspx. Please note that inclusion of a facility on this list does not constitute the department’s recommendation or endorsement.