California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) 

News Release

Office of Public Affairs

For Immediate Release: June 10, 2014
Release #2014-15
For more information contact:
Media Contact: Heather Jones

CalRecycle Issues $1.7 Million in Waste Tire Cleanup Grants

SACRAMENTO – California cities, counties, and waste agencies will receive $1.7 million in state grant funds to clean up and recycle illegally dumped waste tires.

The Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, or CalRecycle, issued the funds under its Local Government Waste Tire Cleanup Program.

“Illegally dumped waste tires are a threat to public health, but they’re also a valuable recyclable feedstock,” CalRecycle Director Caroll Mortensen said. “It’s in everyone’s best interest to collect these tires and make sure they’re put to beneficial use.”

CalRecycle awards grants to cities, counties, other local agencies, and qualifying Indian tribes to collect, remove, transport, and recycle illegally dumped waste tires. Stockpiled waste tires provide breeding grounds for pests such as mosquitos and rats. If the tire piles catch fire, they can burn for many weeks or months, releasing toxins into the air and oils into the groundwater. On the other hand, recycled tires can be used for everything from paving material and garden mulch to sports surfaces and exercise mats.

Under the grant program, the maximum award is $100,000 for a single applicant and $250,000 for a regional applicant. The 23 grant recipients are listed in the table below.

Applicant Award
Town of Apple Valley $9,624
City of Bakersfield $100,000
City of Fresno $100,000
City of Hesperia $25,619
City of Lancaster $55,882
City of Long Beach $95,540
City of Los Angeles $100,000
City of Madera $245,167
City of Modesto $23,379
City of Ontario $40,820
City of San Bernardino $50,000
City of San Diego $57,579
City of Victorville $68,385
Fresno County $100,000
Los Angeles County $160,000
Riverside County $19,000
San Diego County $67,407
San Joaquin County $60,950
Solano County $24,000
Stanislaus County $15,775
Yolo County $12,000
Imperial Valley Resource Management Agency $245,100
Merced County Regional Waste Management Authority $39,655

The cities, counties, and agencies have unique challenges. For example:

  • In Imperial County, visitors cross the U.S.-Mexico border with large recreational vehicles, sometimes with other cars in tow. They also visit remote areas popular with off-road vehicles, often with trailers hauling multiple recreational vehicles. When the visitors change tires on their vehicles, they frequently leave the old tires behind. The county also has many irrigation canals where tires can easily be hidden.
  • In Los Angeles County, waste tires are often dumped illegally on roadways, in alleys, and in sensitive wildlife areas. In residential and commercial areas, the tires prompt fears of West Nile Virus since they serve as mosquito breeding grounds. In more rural areas, the tires are often dumped in large piles, prompting concerns about dangerous fires, especially during the ongoing drought.
  • Many older neighborhoods in the city of Fresno were built with a network of alleys. Illegally dumped tires and other debris are continually dumped in these alleys, at street curbs, along canal banks, on vacant lots, near freeways, and on other public right-of-way areas.

All of the grant recipients will use the funds to clean up waste tires and transport them to facilities for eventual recycling rather than to landfills.

Waste Tire Cleanup Grants are issued every two years, in even-numbered years. Waste Tire Amnesty Grants, which support date-specific events for the public to bring waste tires to convenient locations for proper management, are issued every two years in odd-numbered years. See CalRecycle’s webpage on waste tire cleanup and amnesty grants for more information.

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CalRecycle provides oversight of California solid waste handling and recycling programs to protect human health, develop sustainable solutions that conserve resources, and reduce greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

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