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Bill Would Hold Tire Haulers Accountable for Illegal Dumping


Correction: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that the TCEQ counted six illegal piles of tires in Travis County. In fact, the TCEQ has identified only one pilein Travis County with a tire count between 7,300 and 299,999. We regret the error. 

Original story: Next time you’re driving your car, look at all the tires around you. When those tires wear out, they have to go somewhere.

Every year, more than 24 million tires leave the roads in Texas. And many of them are dumped illegally. A proposal before the Legislature today aims to reduce that problem.

Senate Bill 459 includes a requirement that tire-hauling companies be bonded for $100,000 dollars. If a company is found to have illegally dumped tires, the money could be used by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality to clean up the mess.

“Texas has a problem today managing the flow of scrap tires, and illegal landfills exist and they are indeed growing,” Dick Gus, of Liberty Tire Recycling, told the Senate Transportation Committee. “Why should Texas taxpayers be required to clean up the environment when the tire industry stakeholders should be managing the scrap tires responsibly?”

The bill also prohibits the sale of “unsafe tires” -- those with tread less than a sixteenth of an inch deep.

Nathan Bernier is the transportation reporter at KUT. He covers the big projects that are reshaping how we get around Austin, like the I-35 overhaul, the airport's rapid growth and the multibillion dollar transit expansion Project Connect. He also focuses on the daily changes that affect how we walk, bike and drive around the city. Got a tip? Email him at Follow him on Twitter @KUTnathan.