California's recycling agency CalRecycle is issuing $5.7 million in grants to help cities and counties statewide combat illegally dumped or stockpiled old tires.
CalRecycle says in rural areas, like Calaveras County, the tire enforcement agency office is more than an hour and a half away from routine surveillance areas and storage facilities.
"So there's a lot of illegal dumping, especially in the winter when some places are harder to get to," says CalRecycle's Heather Jones.
Calaveras, Sacramento, El Dorado, Placer, Yolo, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Nevada counties will be getting a total of just over a million dollars in waste tire enforcement grants. Jones says the counties can use those dollars to inspect facilities or to check on reports of illegal dumping.
"They can also use them to install motion detector cameras in places that are common for dumpers," says Jones. "So it just helps them, when they have other budget constraints, they can use this to keep those enforcement activities going."
Jones says dumped or stockpiled tires are a health hazard.
"They can provide breeding habitats for mosquitoes, which we know carry diseases, and other pests like that," says Jones. "But if they catch fire it just takes a long time for them to burn out."
She says those long-burning fires release toxins into the environment.
Money for the program comes from a tire recycling fee that people pay when they buy new tires.
Sacramento County is getting $343,853. San Joaquin County is getting $249,029. And Placer County is getting $201,268.