Landfill to recycle tiresWhile North Dakota is one of eight states with no restrictions on placing tires in landfills, Dickinson will no longer be burying scrap tires in an attempt to save landfill space and prevent problems.
While North Dakota is one of eight states with no restrictions on placing tires in landfills, Dickinson will no longer be burying scrap tires in an attempt to save landfill space and prevent problems.
“We’re going to send them off to recyclers and it may cost a little more money,” said Ron Bachmeier, Dickinson chief operator of collections. “We’ll have to probably raise our rates a little bit because we have to have our rates to a point where we’re going to cover our costs.”
In 2009, about 10,500 tires were buried in the landfill, up from about 8,000 in 2008 and about 9,000 in 2007.
“That’s all the tires from all the services stations and everything that gets brought out there,” Bachmeier said. “In the last few years, it’s gone up about 1,000 tires per year that we’ve taken in.”
Bachmeier said the increase in garbage tires could be attributed to the increase in oil activity, a greater abundance of vehicles in town and a July 8 tornado where garages and properties were cleaned out.
Bachmeier said the city is in talks with a few companies to see what recycling options will be most feasible.
Since the city will have to pay a company to take the tires, a bidding process will be conducted.
Christy Smith, pollution prevention coordinator for the North Dakota Department of Health’s Waste Management Division, said tires never really decompose.
Burying tires in the landfill can pose problems down the road.
“They don’t crush down, so they form gaps and you have gases in that area,” Bachmeier said.
The tires also “float.”
Smith said the tires trap methane gas produced by other items in the landfill, causing the tires to make their way to the ground’s surface.
Smith said while North Dakota has no restrictions on how tires are placed into landfills, whether whole or shredded, the health department recommends communities slice them in half bagel-style to prevent floating or grind them up to save space.
However, the state has only one tire-recycling facility, Waste-Not-Recycling in Bismarck, Smith said.
Northwest Tire Inc. in Dickinson, contracts Waste-Not-Recycling.
Mike Rivinius, manager of Northwest Tire, said Waste-Not stops at Northwest Tire with a 50-foot trailer once a week, sometimes twice a week.
“I’ve seen as many as 1,700 on one ticket,” Rivinius said, adding that is a combination of Northwest Tire’s Dickinson and Bowman locations. “This store alone, I would say we probably haul out on an average of about 20 to 30 a day. In the summertime on a busy day that might be 70.”
Residents also drop tires off for a fee, Rivinius said.
In 2003, scrap tire markets were using 80 percent of the 290 million generated each year, according to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Web site.
Tires are recycled for numerous items, including rubberized asphalts on tracks and playgrounds and the flooring in weight rooms.
The present rate for disposal of a car tire at the Dickinson landfill is $2 and $5 for a truck. Proposed rate adjustments would bring car tires to $3 and truck tires to $10. In addition to the proposed fees, a recycling charge of $2.25 for car tires and $9 for trucks is being considered.