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Waste Tire Management

Waste tires can present serious health and environmental concerns if they are improperly stockpiled, illegally dumped, catch fire, or are illegally open burned. They can trap rainwater and become breeding grounds for disease-carrying mosquitoes and rodents. Tire fires are difficult to contain or extinguish. Burning tires emit high levels of dangerous chemicals and toxic gases into the air. Ash from open-air tire fires can travel great distances and take a long time to settle out of the air. Burned tires leave behind a hazardous oily residue that can pollute surrounding surface waters, ground water, and soils with dangerous toxins.

Waste tires must be transported, processed, stored, and disposed of properly to prevent these problems. IDEM’s Office of Land Quality implements and enforces regulations for waste tire operations to ensure all are operating in compliance with Indiana’s waste tire laws and rules. Waste tire transporters and owners or operators of waste tire processing operations and/or waste tire storage sites must register with IDEM before starting operations. They also must comply with other applicable rules under 329 IAC 15, which includes regulations for retail tire establishments.

IDEM seeks to develop strategies that recognize waste tires as a marketable resource rather than a waste stream for disposal. The agency encourages recycling or retreading waste tires and has approved other legitimate uses. IDEM’s Office of Program Support provides financial assistance for source reduction, reuse, and recycling of waste tires through the Indiana Recycling Market Development Program. The office’s Compliance and Technical Assistance Program (CTAP) offers guidance for businesses needing help with:

  • Remediating existing problems created by the accumulation of large piles of tires
  • Navigating the process of proper disposal
  • Understanding the laws and rules applicable to businesses that collect and process waste tires for disposal
  • Identifying and incorporating best management practices for waste tire management
  • Identifying operations that are currently approved to collect and dispose of tires
  • Understanding how source reduction efforts or pollution prevention techniques can help eliminate or minimize this waste stream from a business


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