State funds sought for tire removal
by The Press and Standard | November 8, 2019 5:00 am
Last Updated: November 6, 2019 at 12:55 pm
Two recycling companies have submitted bids to Colleton County seeking to get the nod to clean up a Moselle Road tire dump.
When the deadline for submitting bids arrived on Oct. 24, Eight Acres Recycling LLP of Prosperity, and Farmer’s Mulch & Rock Inc. of Dobson, N.C., were the only bidders.
Eight Acres Recycling submitted the low bid; they would remove the tires at a price of $264 a ton. Farmer’s Mulch & Rock’s bid was substantially higher; they would remove and properly dispose of the tires for $475 a ton.
The county’s next step is obtaining the funds to pay for the clean up.
Colleton County Solid Waste Recycling Coordinator Sylvia Singleton said the county first applied for funding with South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control to try and obtain funding to cover the cost in April of this year and then modified the initial application to seek additional money.
The morning of Oct. 24, Singleton was beginning work on yet another revised grant application based on the results of the bid opening.
The paperwork Singleton will provide DHEC will contain the bid price (the cost the bidders will charge to recycle the tires) and an estimate of the number of discarded tires.
The county has estimated that between 4,000 and 7,000 used car, truck and off-road vehicle tires are on the site. Singleton said it was hard to obtain a more accurate number because the tires are spread throughout a wooded area.
DHEC officials will then translate the high end of the county’s estimate into an approximate tonnage to arrive at the amount of the grant.
With the math done, the county’s grant application will run through DHEC application process, which includes review by an advisory committee.
Singleton, who has worked with DHEC on three other tire cleanups in the past, said that state officials have indicated to her that the chances of having the grant approved are good.
She said sometimes a DHEC tire removal grant can include a local match, sometimes they don’t.
If the funding is approved, the county will fund the cleanup and then be reimbursed through the DHEC’s Waste Tire Grant Program, which is fueled by a $2 fee collected for each new tire sold.
The Solid Waste Policy and Management Act established this fee in 1991. A portion of that fee is allocated to DHEC and set aside for tire grants that help manage the proper disposal of waste tires. DHEC considers the removal of waste tires from illegal stockpiles to be the highest priority use of tire grant funds.
Without the state funding, the cleanup likely would no go forward and the discarded tires would stay where they are, littering the woodlands off a dirt road in Islandton.
Colleton County Code Enforcement Officer Doug Mixson said he received a tip about the accumulation of tires in October 2018 and went to the 900 block of Moselle Road to look for himself. Mixson went to an abutting property where the neighbor gave him permission to take pictures of the tire dump.
He shared the photographs with the Department of Health and Environmental Control to see if the state was interested in initiating enforcement on the environmental violation.
A SCDHEC spokesperson said, “After visiting the site and communicating with Colleton County Code Enforcement about its ongoing efforts to address this illegal dump site at the county level, DHEC determined not to take any enforcement action at this time.” A DHEC spokesperson said the illegal waste tire dump “never went through the DHEC permitting process.”
Mixson began the county enforcement effort by filing a violation notice on Oct. 22, 2018. Later, the county filed a citation against the property owner in magistrate court. “The county is not happy, the neighbors are not happy,” Mixson said.
According to Mixson, the owner agreed to have his property cleaned up, but only if DHEC awarded a grant to pay for it.