Tire Bill SB 3006 Update

Tires dumped along Paakea Road after a major clean up several months earlier. Photo by Sophie Flores.

SB3006 sets up a $1 per tire deposit program and a task force to try to combat illegal tire dumping.

Illegally dumped tires are a huge and very expensive problem, costing taxpayers thousands of dollars or more annually. Unfortunately, tire piles like the one pictured are a typical sight on the back roads of the Wai`anae Coast.

The “Tire Bill,” SB 3006, was suggested to me by Mark Suiso of Nani O Wai`anae after I asked him for advice on what to do about the illegal tire dumping epidemic. Mr. Suiso explained that the current system is problematic since you have to pay to properly dispose of tires at Unitek in Campbell Industrial Park. This leads people to dump tires, and Mr. Suiso suggested legislation similar to the “bottle bill,” which would encourage tire recycling.

After meeting with government and private sector officials, we decided to introduce legislation that would not go as far as the “bottle bill” due to concerns about high start-up costs and the heavy bureaucratic burden of creating a new tire recycling system. What has resulted is SB3006, which re-instates a previous $1 per tire deposit program and creates a task force to come up with solutions to the problem.

The deposit would be $1 per tire imported into the state, including tires imported on motor vehicles, and spare tires. The tire deposit would restore a vital source of funding needed by the Department of Health (DOH) to promote tire recovery and prevent illegal dumping.

The tire task force would be convened by DOH and comprise representatives from DOH, BLNR, the City, HPD, elected officials and Neighborhood Board members from affected communities, the tire/vehicle recycling industries, tire retailers, and automobile dealers. It will also make recommendations to the legislature in 2014.

SB3006 is scheduled to be heard by the House Finance Committee on 4/3/12 at 6pm.  Please email testimony to FINtestimony@capitol.hawaii.gov.   The Senate draft of the bill eliminated the $1 deposit after hearing opposition from automobile dealers. I urge you to support SB3006 and contact my office if you have any questions or concerns, at 586-7793.

Maile Shimabukuro
Senator, District 21

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