Keep PA Beautiful: Volunteers Across PA Collected Over 1 Million Waste Tires For Recycling, Proper Disposal

On February 17, Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful announced volunteers with its affiliates and local partners have collected over one million scrap tires for recycling and proper disposal.

The tires were collected from Pennsylvania’s roads, waterways, parks, trails and remote areas during locally coordinated cleanups or collected at one-day recycling events and permanent drop-off locations.  

“Reaching this significant milestone took three decades and countless volunteer hours. Our volunteers collected tires during special collection events, stream cleanups, illegal dump cleanups and Pick Up Pennsylvania events. A lot of hard, dirty work went in to moving that many tires. We couldn’t be more proud and grateful,” said Shannon Reiter, President of Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful. 

Tires collected were either recycled and processed into rubber mulch, play turf, rubber asphalt roads and other items or shredded and landfilled.

Although it’s illegal to dump them, the Department of Environmental Protection has documented a dozen abandoned and commercial waste tire piles across the state, with more than 10,000 waste tires.

Many smaller tire piles and residential dump sites containing tires also dot the landscape, a result of historic, generational stockpiling and dumping by unscrupulous individuals and business owners.

The reasons people choose to dump tires illegally vary. Some people are unwilling or unable to pay for disposal, while others think risking a nominal fine is worth it. Some landowners will accept a fee for allowing businesses to unload tires on their property.

The cost of cleaning up these historic tire piles is prohibitive for most landowners and presents a problem once the land is put on the market.

Tires that are improperly disposed leach toxic chemicals that contaminate soil and water causing serious harm to individuals, wildlife and the environment.

They also provide breeding grounds for mosquitoes, increasing the risk of West Nile Virus and Zika Virus.

Tire piles are also in danger of catching fire. Tire fires are known for being difficult to extinguish and create an abundance of smoke that carries toxic chemicals from the breakdown of synthetic rubber compounds, contributing to air pollution.

“It is much more cost effective to dispose of tires properly in the first place. Many of our affiliates offer either one-day special collections or host permanent drop-off locations in their service areas, providing a convenient, affordable outlet. Tire dealers also offer disposal services for a small fee when you get new,” said Reiter.

The Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful Affiliate Network often works with local solid waste and recycling offices to identify local disposal needs and implement special collections.

Visit KPB’s Calendar of Events webpage to find collection events year you. Contact your local county affiliate for more information about proper disposal in your area.

For more information on waste tire cleanups, visit DEP’s Waste Tire Program webpage.

Pick Up Pennsylvania

The 2021 Pick Up Pennsylvania Initiative will be held from March 1 through May 31.  Questions should be directed to Michelle Dunn at 1-877-772-3673 Ext. 113 or send email to:

For more information on programs, initiatives and special events, visit the Keep Pennsylvania Beautiful website. Click Here to become a member.  Click Here to sign up for regular updates from KPB, Like them on Facebook, Follow on Twitter, Discover them on Pinterest and visit their YouTube Channel.

Also visit the Illegal Dump Free PA website for more ideas on how to clean up communities and keep them clean and KPB’s Electronics Waste website.

Keep PA Beautiful helps mobilize over 100,000 volunteers a year to pick up litter, clean up illegal dumping and beautify Pennsylvania.

Related Article:

-- Keep PA Beautiful Local Affiliates Recycle 1.1 Million Pounds Of E-Waste, 11,800 Tires In Special Collection Events In 2020

[Posted: February 17, 2021


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