JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (Jan. 20)—There are eight bills before the Missouri Assembly to re-establish the state's 50-cent fee on each new tire sold to fund waste tire cleanups and recycling programs.
The fee, established in 1990, funded management programs for some 12 million tires generated in Missouri until it lapsed Jan. 1, according to the Missouri Department of Natural Resources. There are still 2.9 million stockpiled scrap tires in the state that the DNR knows about; the agency estimates there are 1 million scrap tires yet to be discovered, on top of the 5 million the state generates each year.
The waste tire fund still has $2.3 million to $2.4 million and cleanup contracts running through June, said Dan Fester, former DNR waste tire unit chief. Unless the fee is reinstated by then, he said, "That will be the end of our cleanupsùand not just our cleanups, but the whole program."