- Kansas may adopt legislation to cut grant funding that supports tire recycling and may also eliminate the advisory committee charged with cleaning up tire waste and marketing recycled tires.
- The possible blow to tire recycling also coincides with a discussion among lawmakers to reduce the sales tax on new tires from 25 cents to 15 cents.
- The government and other proponents say the industry should manage tire recycling. Kansas Organization of Recyclers (KOR), an advocacy and education group that promotes stewardship, believes cutting the program could pose a public safety threat and economic burdens, as reported in Recycling Today.
As it has played out with other materials, fewer stakeholders invest in recyclables when it’s cheaper to buy a new product — or as in the case of the tires, where there are tax incentives to buy new. But promoting new manufacturing rather than recycling carries more expense on the back end. Illegal tire stockpiling has been a problem in Louisiana, Arkansas, and elsewhere.
Gary Mason, deputy secretary for environment at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment which initiated the tire recycling grant programs, said they are no longer needed as they were years ago because management of waste tires has improved substantially.
"... We try to move the bar. Once we move it, we kind of back out of the program and let the private sectors and others pick it up," said Mason to Salina Post.
Spencer Duncan, executive director of KOR, finds the Health Department’s stand contradictory.
"They’re telling you this has been such a successful program, it’s time for it to go away. We’re arguing that it’s such a successful program you should be trumpeting from the mountaintops about what a great thing this has been for such a low fee," he told Salina Post.