GREENE COUNTY, AR (KAIT) - Greene County has always had a problem with unusable tires being thrown all over the community, but now, a new waste tire legislation known as House Bill 1267 could ensure that those tires are properly disposed of.
County Judge Rusty McMillon said their county will not be the only area benefiting from this bill if it were to pass.
"It is a problem that is all over Arkansas," said McMillon. "Decades ago, when solid waste management districts were created, they all had a tire problem that existed where tires that could not be used anymore were not properly disposed of."
McMillon said a state mandate requires tires to be thrown away properly in a landfill, but that come with a cost.
"When we have to use our trucks to go pick up these tires and drive them from point A to point B, expenses follow," said McMillon.
Right now, when people go to dealerships to get their tires replaced, tires could either be reviewed as unusable or resold as used tires. That process generates a fee.
Unusable tires are supposed to be transported to the local Northeast Arkansas Landfill in a trailer, but because the region only has one trailer, it could slow down the disposing or recycling process.
"We have only one trailer for four counties in our solid waste tire district," said McMillon. "When that trailer is filled and taken off, counties have difficulty disposing of their tires and they just sit there. They can't dispose of them the way the state mandates so again they sit there causing fire hazards, issues with our drainage and so forth."
McMillon said under the new legislation, a fee being charged to get your tires replaced would generate increased revenue to help better address the tire waste problem throughout the state. This means that that money would go to waste districts to be reimbursed for the expenses used to transport disposable tires.
McMillon also said currently, several tire districts are underfunded and the current system is set up as a grant rather than a reimbursement which they feel would be better.
"With this bill, we could fund more drop off areas for people to take their unused tires, and we could increase revenue," said McMillon. "With these possibilities, people would see there are areas where they can take their tires rather than being on roadways, ditches or personal properties."
McMillon said because this has been an ongoing issue, he is happy that Gov. Asa Hutchinson has made this a part of his legislative package.
"The legislation hasn't passed yet and it is something to be considered by the legislation and we are excited that they are looking at addressing the problem," said McMillon. "We are just hoping that it is something looking good for us in our waste tire districts."
Next week, McMillon plans to meet with other county officials to discuss their concerns with House Bill 1267.
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