PRINCE FREDERICK, Md. (June 17, 2011) Approximately 300 million scrap tires are generated in the United States every year, equaling about one used tire per person. In Calvert County, more than 200 discarded tires were collected from roadsides over a one-year period.
Illegally dumped or improperly stored scrap tires can pose a host of problems including breeding grounds for mosquitoes and fire hazards. Nationwide, scrap tires cost taxpayers and property owners hundreds of thousands of dollars each year to clean up.
The Calvert County Department of Public Works, Solid Waste Division, encourages residents to properly dispose of scrap tires at the Appeal Landfill in Lusby for recycling. The average tire costs less than $2 to dispose of properly, based on an average tire weight of 20 pounds. Car, truck, motorcycle, bicycle and off-road tires are all accepted, and tires may be left on the rim for disposal.
Marylands Scrap Tire Recycling Act of 1991 banned tires from all Maryland landfills and since then various markets have been created for materials using recycled tires. Scrap tires are used in substitute construction materials, floor mats, belts, gaskets, shoe soles, dock bumpers, seals, muffler hangers, highway crash barriers and other items. At Calvert Cliffs State Park in Lusby, the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) and volunteers constructed five playgrounds using whole scrap tires.
Scrap tires are also a potent source of energy. When burned, tires produce the same amount of energy as oil and 25 percent more energy than coal. Waste-to-energy projects power cement kilns, paper mills, industrial boilers and electric generation plants.
To help reduce the prevalence of scrap tires, MDE offers the following tips:
-- Maintain tire pressure at proper inflation levels to conserve fuel and extend tire life.
-- Prevent water accumulation in used tires temporarily stored at home to avoid mosquitoes.
-- Ensure tires are being transferred to a licensed collection facility.
-- Buy retread tires when possible.
-- Report any illegal dumping of tires to MDE or local authorities.
To find licensed sites that collect scrap tires from the general public, call MDEs Scrap Tire Program at 800-633-6101, ext. 3315. For more information on waste collection and recycling in Calvert County, contact the Department of Public Works, Division of Solid Waste, at 410-326-0210, or visit the Calvert County Web site at www.co.cal.md.us.