- After a six-month grace period, Houston has now begun enforcing a 2015 ordinance that requires scrap tire operations to register with the city in an effort to reduce illegal dumping.
- Any business that deals in used or scrap tires must register and/or obtain a permit with the city on an annual basis. Registration costs $93.93 for scrap tire generators and $172 for transporters.
- The city began conducting compliance inspections on July 1. Generators are required to allow annual inspection of their records and transporters must display a city decal on their vehicles. Fines for non-compliance are $250 per day, per offense.
More than 24 million scrap tires are thrown out in Texas every year and Houston spends $1 million per year collecting and disposing the ones that are illegally dumped. The city has already hauled off more than 19,000 tires from illegal dump sites since February. In addition to the new registration program, the city is trying to educate residents about proper tire maintenance to cut down on waste.
Officials have also recommended puncturing holes in tire swings or dock tire bumpers to cut down on standing water. Tires can quickly become breeding sites for mosquitos which lay their eggs in standing water and contribute to the spread of Zika virus. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 935 Zika cases have been reported in the U.S. as of June 29 and that number more than doubles when including territories.
Others states have also initiated tire disposal programs which may help mitigate the spread of Zika. Grants totaling $650,000 have been made available to South Dakota landfills for tire collection and more than $1 million is being spent on engineering projects using waste tires in California.