Tennessee is addressing scrap tire disposal through a new task force with representatives from the Tennessee government, tire dealers and those who collect tires for recycling, according to TireBusiness.com.
State law currently prohibits tires from landfills, and as a result, each county is responsible for providing a collection site where residents can drop them off.
To fund these disposal programs, tire dealers charge a fee of $1.35 per new tire, which is incorporated into the initial price.
However, some disposal sites are arguing that the number of tires coming in for disposal does not correlate with the money collected by dealers. This is causing some counties to take losses in their disposal programs, a complaint the task force will look to address.
The challenge with tire recycling is that metal must first be removed from the tires before they are shredded, which requires separate machinery for this initial step.
If communities choose not to recycle tires, they can pile up in what is known as a stockpile, which produces a breeding ground for disease and rodents. They also have the potential to catch fire, causing a difficult-to-extinguish blaze that produces black smoke.
Tennessee’s neighbor to the south, Alabama, recently spent $7 million to clean up its largest tire pile.
The new task force is expected to have its first meeting in the fall.