OKLAHOMA CITY (April 29, 2011)—The Oklahoma legislature has passed and sent to Gov. Mary Fallin a bill that more than doubles the recycling fee on new passenger tires sold in the state and partly changes the allocation of the state's scrap tire funds.
The Oklahoma Senate passed House Bill 1939 by a 33-10 vote April 26, about six weeks after the Oklahoma House passed the bill 68-13.
Under the old system of tire fees in Oklahoma, tire buyers paid $1 for every passenger tire with diameters of 17.5 inches or less, $2.50 for every tire with diameters of 17.5 to 19.5 inches, and $3.50 for each tire larger than 19.5 inches. House Bill 1939 increases the fee to $2.50 for every tire up to 19.5 inches, and leaves the fee for larger tires unchanged. Fees on agricultural and motorcycle tires also remain unchanged.
The bill changes the name of the tire recycling fund from the Waste Tire Recycling Indemnity Fund to the Used Tire Recycling Indemnity Fund. It sets up a definition of “used tire” as “an unprocessed whole tire or tire part than can no longer be used for its original intended purpose but can be beneficially be reused.”
Under the bill, 28 percent of the money from the tire fund will be allocated to the Department of Environmental Quality Revolving Fund for controlling emissions from both mobile and stationary sources of air pollution. The rest of the money will go for tire recycling projects within the state, including $54 per ton of processed tire material to used tire processors and up to 10-percent reimbursement for processors of capital investment in new equipment.
Oklahoma has had a tire fee to fund tire recycling since 1989, but the tire fund was depleted in 1999 and 2000 when the legislature appropriated $4.6 million to balance the state budget.