By Paul Ploumis (ScrapMonster Author)
February 15, 2016 05:07:23 AM
COLUMBUS (Scrap Monster): Kansas legislators are debating a bill that would abolish the solid waste grants advisory committee. The bill also proposes reduction in tax on new tire purchases in the state from 25 cents to 15 cents.
According to Gary Mason, deputy secretary for environment at the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE), scrapping the funding for used tire recycling grants is unlikely to impact the state. Mason noted that the grant program is no longer required the way it was in the early years to get recycling momentum going on. In early days, many states including Kansas lacked proper handling of discarded tires. But now private industry is capable enough to manage tire recycling. Presently, Kansas has several tire recycling businesses that are devoted to managing waste tires.
On the other hand, opponents of the bill argue that the proposed bill could pose challenge to public safety and create economic burden if clean-ups are not fully funded. According to them, the waste tire grant program had ensured economic and safety benefits to Kansas residents by providing safe and clean playgrounds and parks. The removal of waste tire grant program will reduce benefits to schools and local governments.
Meantime, Spencer Duncan, executive director of the Kansas Organization of Recyclers (KOR) noted that it is a mistake to put an end to a successful program that has been running for so many years, and that too at such a low fee. Incidentally, Kansas’ 25 cents-per tire tax is the lowest such tax in the nation.
As per estimates, KDHE has been successful in disposing more than 11 million tires from 1993 to 2001. However, in the last eight years, there has been a significant reduction in the number of tires collected. Also, the 25-cent tire tax generates revenue amounting to nearly $172,000 per year.