MONTGOMERY, ALA.—Alabama scrap tire handlers have until the end of the year to get their record-keeping in order under the state's Scrap Tire Handlers Act. Under the law, scrap tire handlers must keep records of where their tires came from and are going or face fines, said Sonny Brasfield, assistant director of the Alabama Association of County Commissions, which helped write the law.
Also, anyone collecting, transporting, disposing of or storing scrap tires should have obtained a state license to do so by Oct. 1. But the association is giving everyone until the end of the year to get used to the new law.
``Once you get to Jan. 1, that's when the hammer falls in regards to the fines,'' Brasfield said.
The new law uses an audit system to help the state keep track of tires in its waste stream, he said.
``It's to stop scrap tires from ending up in the woods, or some guy piling them up on the back 40,'' said Mackie Garrett, Baldwin County license inspector.
About 10 states have similar laws in place, said Michael Blumenthal, executive director of the Scrap Tire Management Council in Washington.
It's a good idea, but officials must make sure tire handlers are following the rules, he said.
``If the state checks up on it, it's a good tool,'' Blumenthal said. ``The program is only as efficient as it is enforced.''
The association has given each county power to appoint officials to conduct audits to ensure compliance, Brasfield said.
Some counties will use existing officers, such as health officials and license inspectors, while some of the smaller ones may use the sheriff's department, he said.
The state will levy a fine of $500 on businesses or individuals handling scrap tires without a license or not properly displaying their license. Other violations, such as keeping inaccurate records, will be fined at least $300 plus $5 per tire. The law also holds any person convicted of illegally disposing of tires financially responsible for the cleanup.
``I think we're going to have some counties that are going to be very aggressive in the enforcement, and perhaps some that are not going to be quite as aggressive,'' Brasfield said.