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Disposal Audits Could Deflate Peoria's Used Tire Dumping Problem

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Peoria Tireless Project
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Workers load up used tires in South Peoria as part of Peoria's Tireless Project.

The Peoria City Council is moving one step closer to deflating the cause of Peoria’s used tire buildup.

Community Development Director Ross Black says at least some of these tires can be traced back to tire dealers and repair shops. Although, without a licensing requirement, there is no way to correctly audit businesses.

The new requirements, which are already state laws, would include detailed business records and the use of licensed tire disposal companies.

“This would allow us to audit them so that we can see that train of evidence that the tire came in,” Black said. “The individual paid the state-mandated disposal fee for the tire. And then the tire was turned over to a disposal company, then taken to an appropriate landfill that accepts tires.”

Director Black recommends the license have no cost on affected businesses.

“We are more interested in trying to cut down on the number of discarded tires and not use this as an opportunity for revenue,” Black said.

Councilmember Denise Jackson, District 1, wonders if the city has enough staff to regularly monitor potential dumpsites. Jackson wants to send a message to the “would-be-tire-bandits,” by increasing fines and possible community service where offenders would clean up tires.

“We have to have signs, we have to have lights in all of our alleys, and we also have to have cameras if we want to once and for all, after about ten years, be able to get rid of this problem,” Jackson said. “I would not want to come back next year and have this same discussion just because our amendment of the law was just applied and not a full-scale approach to this longstanding problem.”

Jackson says the city caught an individual on camera two separate times unloading from a van and subsequently a U-Haul truck this past spring.

Director Black says the city’s approach could include spot audits on businesses to keep everyone on their toes.

“It wouldn’t necessarily be that every month every single tire business in town would be visited by our business license inspector and asked for copies of their paperwork on the disposal of tires,” Black said. “It would be a spot check and that way everyone knows they may have a visit, but no one knows if they will have a visit.

“It also means after a certain number of months we will be able to cycle through all of the tire businesses in town. If we can reduce the dumping of tires by doing this then that relieves pressure on other staffing issues within the city,” Black said.

Corporation Counsel Chrissie Peterson says the current system for individual offenders only allows for a fine, which would max out at $500. The first offense would be $100, followed by $200 then $500 for every subsequent offense. Possible criminal charges would need to be discussed with the state attorney’s office.

Councilmembers Andre Allen, Beth Jensen, Timothy Riggenbach, and John Kelly voiced support to Jackson’s advocacy on the matter. Jensen and Riggenbach would like to see a list of how many businesses would be included in the spot audits.

In other dealings, the council heard corporation counsel update them on the motor fuel tax ordinance amendment.

“In our last council meeting, we presented some options that would include additional regulations for gasoline stations whether they are stand-alone or hold liquor or tobacco licenses,” Peterson said. “The draft of the ordinance you have in front of you makes the violation of any other ordinance or state or federal law grounds for the license to be suspended, revoked, or grounds for a financial penalty.”

Both first reading ordinances were received and filed for further discussions by unanimous vote.

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