It will now cost $4 per tire
to dispose of car tires
By Suzanne Dean
MAYFIELD—The White Hills landfill outside Mayfield stopped taking tires free of charge late last year, but not before completing a special cleanup that removed 2,463 tons of old tires from the county.
Garry Bringhurst, manager of the Sanpete County Landfill Cooperative, which operates landfills in White Hills (outside Mayfield) and Chester, explained that until last year, the White Hills landfill was one of the few landfills in the state that accepted tires at no charge. The landfill accepted four tires per resident per year.
But in May, 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency ruled that landfills could no longer bury tires as White Hills had been doing. The EPA said all waste tires brought to landfills had to be recycled.
The landfill cooperative, an organization directed by a designated county commissioner and all mayors in the county, approved a schedule of fees that would be charged on tires brought to the landfill.
The fees cover what TDFI, a tire recycling company in Fillmore, charges to pick up the tires at the landfill and take them to Fillmore.
The landfill now charges $4 per tire for car and pickup truck tires, $10 per tire for semi-truck tires, $25 per tire for tires from agricultural tractors and $75 per tire (sometimes more) for tires from heavy equipment and certain agricultural machines.
Whenever possible, it will be better to leave tires at dealers and repair shops, Bringhurst says.
But between May, when the EPA handed down its directive, and November, when the landfill started charging for tires, the operation got support from the Utah Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste to permit residents to bring in as many tires as they wanted at no charge. The division covered the costs of transporting the tires to Fillmore.
Residents brought tires “by the semi load” from yards, sheds and ag properties, Bringhurst says. “We even got tires that had been buried.”
He adds, “It was quite a project, a satisfying project. I bet there were tires that had been in the county for 20 years. There are still tires out there, but we got the majority of them, I hope.”
Tires from tire stores and mechanic shops were not covered by the special cleanup. Since 1990, such businesses have been required to collect a recycling fee on each tire purchased, which goes to a state fund. The businesses must arrange to recycle the tires and can submit to the state fund for partial reimbursement
Despite the new tire charges, the two landfills continue to be a bargain for Sanpete County residents, Bringhurst says.
Each household can still bring 1 ton of personal trash per month to the White Hills landfill at no charge. And a household can take an unlimited amount of yard waste to the Chester landfill. Most landfills charge a fee each time a customer drives over their scales.
The landfill cooperative also supports community cleanups. White Hills accepts one jumbo dumpster per year from each municipality.
“It can contain anything from couches to tree limbs, but no tires,” Bringhurst says.
The landfill is supported by a $4 fee that is added to utility bills paid by households and businesses. In some cases, the fee is added to the city utility bill. In others, the fee is billed by Rocky Mountain Power.
Several years ago, there were problems collecting the landfill fee. Some communities weren’t remitting all of the fees they were collecting to the landfill. And some municipalities weren’t collecting the fee at all.
Those problems have been resolved, Bringhurst reports, and the fee is now being collected from everyone.