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Bill Seeks To Solve Colorado’s Waste Tire Conundrum

Michael Cory
Creative Commons

Colorado is home to the largest stock piles of waste tires in the country.

“We don’t need to be the king of the tire piles,” said Democratic Sponsor Rep. Max Tyler, referencing an estimated 60 million in tires contained in two large piles located near Colorado Springs and Hudson.

These piles pose both environmental and health concerns. On April 24, the Colorado House of Representatives advanced HB 1352 [.pdf] to change that picture.

Tyler says one concern is that large waste tire piles can catch fire—which can be difficult to extinguish and emit toxic fumes. If passed, his legislation would stop these large tire stockpiles from accepting waste tires in 2018.

The legislation would also reduce the $1.50 waste tire fee collected with the sale of every new tire. Tyler says the distribution of these funds would also change.

“There will be more money for the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment to do enforcement,” he said. “And we’ve changed things so that it’s much more likely that the cities and counties will have the funding they need to enforce the clean up of illegal tire piles.”

Ultimately, Tyler says the bill seeks to incentivize better ideas around recycling tires and finding other uses for them. Currently waste tires are recycled into things like for things like road bases. Hudson-based CH2E is currently researching ways to transform waste tires into more complicated uses like diesel fuels.

The bill now moves to the Colorado State Senate, where it’s expected to be introduced next week. 

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