ANNAPOLIS — The price of a new tire in Maryland will go up by $1 Feb. 1 under a new fee set yesterday by the Board of Public Works to help pay for recycling the state's mounting piles of scrap rubber.
Acting on a tire recycling law adopted last year by the General Assembly, the three-member board ordered Maryland tire dealers to collect the fee on sales of all new tires, including those sold on vehicles, trailers, farm machinery and other wheeled equipment.
The fee, which state officials expect to generate $4.4 million a year, will be used to finance scrap tire cleanups and to establish a scrap tire recycling system.
Tires will continue to be stockpiled, rather than recycled, at least for the time being. No scrap tire recycling facilities have been approved or set up yet, according to Michael Sullivan, spokesman for the Maryland Department of the Environment.
State officials estimate that there are about 10 million scrap tires in dumps or piles around Maryland, and another 4.4 million used tires are disposed of every year.
State Environment Secretary Robert Perciasepe said he expected that the cost of scrap tire disposal should decline over the next four years as a recycling system developed.
State officials hope to use the recycilng fee funds to clean up the old tire dumps, some of which pose fire hazards.