Office of Public Affairs
For Immediate Release: March 26, 2014
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SACRAMENTO--A Bay Area waste tire facility has been shut down and fined $30,000 for a host of violations involving unsafe storage conditions.
The Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, or CalRecycle, revoked the waste tire facility permit of Global Waste Management Inc. in South San Francisco last fall. A lengthy investigation determined the company was storing an excessive number of waste tires, storing tires near flammable materials, and using an unregistered hauler to ship the tires. After an administrative hearing that included six days of witness testimony, a hearing officer upheld the revocation for a period of three years and ordered Global Waste Management Inc. to pay a fine of $30,000.
“Our responsibility is to ensure waste tire facilities operate in a safe and compliant manner to protect the surrounding community,” CalRecycle Director Caroll Mortensen said. “Improperly stored waste tires are a serious threat to human health and the environment.”
CalRecycle’s tire enforcement branch ensures tire haulers and facilities in California transport and store waste tires safely and legally. Facilities that store 500 to 4,999 waste tires at a time must have a “minor” waste tire facility permit, while those with 5,000 or more waste tires need a “major” waste tire facility permit and are regulated more stringently.
In December 2012, Global Waste was issued a minor waste tire facility permit. In February and March 2013, CalRecycle inspectors visited the site, counted waste tire bales and took photos. They estimated there were more than 11,000 waste tires on the property during the first visit, and 17,000 waste tires during the second. CalRecycle ultimately issued a cleanup and abatement order to the company ordering it to reduce and maintain the waste tire count allowed by its waste tire facility permit.
However, during future inspections the facility again exceeded its waste tire limit, at one time having approximately 21,000 waste tires on site. Other violations included not providing access to the facility’s operation plans, emergency response plan and fire prevention measures, as required by law. During one inspection, flammable material was stored within 40 feet of the tires. In cooperation with the California Highway Patrol, CalRecycle also determined Global Waste had used an unregistered hauler to transport tires from its facility to the Port of Oakland.
Global Waste had until March 23 to appeal the final revocation ruling, but declined to do so.
Californians generate more than 40 million waste tires per year. Stockpiled tires can pose serious health threats. Besides harboring disease-spreading pests, they can also result in tire fires that release smoke full of toxins into the air and streams of pyrolytic oil that contaminate the soil and groundwater. Some of the larger tire fires, such as one in Tracy in 1998 in which about 7 million tires burned for 26 months, helped set the stage for CalRecycle’s current enforcement program.
For more on CalRecycle’s waste tire management program, please see our website at https://www.calrecycle.ca.gov/Tires/