DURYEA -- A tire recycling company in Luzerne County has not complied with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, so DEP is now warning the public not to dispose of tires at the location for legal and environmental reasons.
In a press release, DEP is urging the public not to recycle or dispose of tires at Nationwide Tire Recycling in Duryea.
DEP tells Newswatch 16 that if you do take tires to that location, you could be doing so illegally because the company has not renewed its permit since last year. There are also environmental concerns.
"If people drop tires off there, they could be contributing to unlawful activity because the company does not have permits," said Colleen Connolly, DEP. "If those tires pile up and they're not being handled properly, it could lead to a tire fire, which could create toxic fumes and a hazard to the public. The tires could disintegrate and get into the groundwater. Plus, those tires are also a breeding ground for mosquitoes if rain and water pile up. Mosquitoes cause West Nile Virus. We want the public to understand, there's an environmental issue here."
When Newswatch 16 arrived at the property Friday afternoon, there was no activity during normal business hours. Hundreds of tires could be seen throughout the property. In the driveway, a 53-foot truck bed was packed to the brim with tires. The doors to the bed were wide open.
Newswatch 16 attempted to contact Nationwide Tires, but our calls went unanswered.
DEP ordered the company to remove the tires from the property in 2016 and Nationwide simply did not respond.
"The department issue a compliance order to Nationwide Tires, asking them to remove the tires. They have not complied yet. We've given them ample time, so we're in the process of taking some type of action against them."
DEP also says it last completed an inspection of nationwide tires last week.