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EGLE cleans up more than 287,000 scrap tires in a year

The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) Scrap Tire Program cleaned up the equivalent of 287,377 passenger tires in 2022.

People loading scrap tires onto a truck in Battle Creek.

People loading scrap tires into a truck in Battle Creek.

Scrap tires can be hazardous to the environment and public health if not properly managed. Runoff from tire fires can contaminate water, and scrap tire sites are an ideal habitat for the breeding of mosquitoes carrying disease such as West Nile Virus.

In Michigan, it is illegal to dispose of whole motor vehicle tires in a landfill. EGLE’s Scrap Tire Program regulates proper disposal, transportation, and storage, as well as cleanup of existing scrap piles of 500 tires or more. Scrap tire transporters and collection sites must register annually, and program staff regularly inspect scrap tire collection sites, processors, end users, and generators, including tire dealers and auto scrap yards.

The 2022 cleanups involved $610,631 in grants. For the cleanup and recycling of tires determined to have been dumped or collected after 1991 on private sites, grants are subject to repayment.

In the October 2021-September 2022 fiscal year, the program tallied 353 inspections related to collection sites, haulers, retailers, grants, and complaints. It issued registrations to 139 haulers and 48 collection sites.

EGLE also awarded 105 scrap tire cleanup grants, including 10 carried forward from previous years. Five private site grants carried over to FY 2023. EGLE has approved 90 applications for 2023 cleanup grants: 2023 Scrap Tire Cleanup Grant Recipients