SPRINGFIELD–(ENEWSPF)–September 5, 2014. Illinois EPA Director Lisa Bonnett has announced the completion of waste tire removal actions that took place during the July and August. The waste tire removal action is a part of the Illinois EPA’s efforts to assist units of local government (ULG’s) in providing and maintaining a healthful environment for the benefit of this and future generations, established in the Illinois Constitution and Section 55.1(c) of the Environmental Protection Act.
“Tire-dumping harms communities by increasing the risk of disease, lowering property values and damaging the environment,” said Illinois EPA Director Lisa Bonnett. “The Illinois EPA is proud to work with so many local partners across the state to not only clean up these tires, but to help law enforcement to reduce this illegal dumping.”
The following removal actions have been completed by the Illinois EPA:
• Calhoun County – Removed 14.92 tons of waste tires from Two Rivers National Wildlife Refuge.
• City of Peoria – Removed an estimated 10,000 waste tires for and in cooperation with the City of Peoria.
• Cook County – Removed 3,000 waste tires for the South Suburban Mayors & Managers Association in Park Forest in cooperation with the Cook County Public Works and Highway Department.
• Henry County – Removed 21.45 tons of waste tires for 18 units of local government in cooperation with the Henry County Health Department and Henry County Highway Department.
• Knox County – Removed 75.26 tons of waste tires for 38 units of local government in cooperation with the Knox County Health Department and Knox County Highway Department.
• Macon County – Removed an estimated 1,500 waste tires in cooperation with Macon County Environmental Management Department.
• McDonough County – Removed 24.92 tons of waste tires for 12 units of local government in cooperation with the McDonough County Health Department and McDonough County Highway Department.
• Stark County – Removed 5.96 tons of waste tires for eight units of local government, in cooperation with the Stark County Health Department and Stark County Highway Department.
Dumped tires are an eyesore, can contaminate air, land and water and serve as habitats for disease-carrying insects, particularly mosquitoes. Illinois citizens produce more than 14 million used tires annually. That’s one used tire per person every year.
Illinois EPA is working with local governments to coordinate and properly dispose of waste tires collected from public properties, including roadsides, public parks and abandoned sites. Illinois EPA assists municipalities with disposal costs associated with the waste tires and partners with local officials on enforcement of new and existing waste tire dumping laws.
The Illinois EPA’s Used Tire Program began in 1990 and is funded by a $2.50 per tire fee that consumers pay when purchasing tires at retail. The Used Tire Program helps properly dispose of tires at a registered, commercial used tire processing facility in Illinois. Some tires are retreaded and reused, and others are recycled into a variety of products and uses; but most are shredded into a high-energy fuel supplement known as tire-derived fuel and are burned in power plants, industrial boilers or cement kilns for energy recovery.
Dumping tires is illegal, and dumping more than 50 is a Class 4 felony in Illinois. The Environmental Protection Act allows state and local law enforcement to issue citations of up to $1500 for each violation.