The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), along with a number of New Jersey counties, is spearheading the removal of hundreds of thousands of tires from the largest tire dumps remaining in the state, all of them in South Jersey, says Bob Martin, the state DEP commissioner.
"At one time, tire dumps, some comprised of what seemed to be endless hills of rolling rubber, scarred many parts of New Jersey's landscape, especially in South Jersey," Martin says. "Throughout the years, millions of tires have been removed and tire dumps cleaned up. Now, working cooperatively with our partners in Atlantic, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties, we are removing the last remnants of these unsightly dumps once and for all."
A release from the New Jersey DEP says the south New Jersey area was targeted for the cleanup because a disproportionate share of illegal tire dumps were found in the area in light of the region's remoteness and the availability of large tracts of undeveloped land.
Under the initiative, begun in 2009, the DEP provided Atlantic, Burlington, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties with project grants through the County Environmental Health Act. The counties then issued cleanup contracts.
The property owners either lacked funds to do the work, failed to comply with cleanup orders or have abandoned the properties. The counties have made arrangements to recoup the expenditures through proceeds from any future sales of the properties. The DEP has requested the counties use any recovered money on future solid waste cleanup programs.
The Salem County Improvement Authority oversaw the removal of an estimated 200,000 tires at the 23-acre Gates Tire Recycling Inc. property in rural Mannington Township. The DEP reimbursed the county $200,000 for this cleanup. Contractor Magnus Environmental Corp. shredded the tires at its Wilmington, Del., facility for use at the Salem County landfill. The project was completed last year.
Using $50,000 allocated by the DEP, the Atlantic County Division of Public Health is removing the remaining 20,000 tires as well as tire chips from the former Perona Scrap Yard in Mullica Township. About 216,000 tires had been removed from this site in 2006. Work is expected to be finished by the end of 2010.
The Cumberland County Department of Health is using a $150,000 grant to remove about 100,000 tires from an abandoned tire dump in Fairfield Township that was the site of a major tire fire in 2007. Tire chips are being taken to the Pennsauken Landfill for use as cover material.
Using another $45,000 grant, the Cumberland County Health Department is close to completing the removal of 30,000 tires from the Likanchuks Inc. tire dump in Fairfield. The tires are being chipped and taken to the Pennsauken landfill.
The Gloucester County Improvement Authority is using a $75,000 grant to remove 50,000 tires from the Clayton Auto Recycling property in Franklin Township. The county is expected to attach a lien on the property to recover the money.
The Gloucester County Improvement Authority is using a $75,000 grant to take over tire removal at Walt & Al's Auto Salvage in Monroe, N.J. The owner began voluntarily removing a stockpile of some 50,000 tires from the property earlier this year, but the county moved in because the pace of the cleanup was too slow. A $24,000 project removing 3,000 tires from an adjacent property is expected to begin soon.
In addition, the owner of the Foster Farm Tire Pile in Burlington County, has hired a consultant to perform a preliminary investigation for the removal of some 5,000 tires that remain buried at the property. Several years ago, more than 1 million tires were removed from this dump in the Pinelands National Reserve.