COXSACKIE — Some local residents are seeking immediate action to clean up an illegal tire dump, which state and local officials have been trying to remedy for months.
Town officials received complaints last fall about two tire dumps being operated by Green Tire Recycling, one on Route 81 and one on Surprise Result Road. The state Department of Environmental Conservation has fined the business owner, Shane Foster, $2,250 for each location, of which he has paid $750 each, Coxsackie Town Supervisor Richard Hanse said. The state also set a deadline of March 27 for the tires to be removed from both properties, which has not been met, Hanse added.
“The sheriff should go up there today and shut him down,” said David Hotaling of Earlton. “He should be shut down immediately. It looks like crap up there. He has tires stacked up behind the house. If they ever caught on fire, that house is gone.”
Greene County Sheriff Pete Kusminsky said the sheriff’s office has assisted DEC with its investigation.
The tires are an eyesore, Hotaling said.
“It’s not like they’re in an area you can’t see, it’s right on 81,” he said. “Everybody that goes up 81 thinks it’s an eyesore. The pile gets bigger all the time. And the town supervisor should be worried about it because if [Foster] takes off, who is going to end up paying for it?”
The town is extremely concerned about the property, Hanse said.
“The town is very concerned because, No. 1, it’s a fire hazard; No. 2, it’s a mosquito breeding paradise and No. 3, we never permitted any of it,” Hanse said.
Foster had a permit from DEC for the Route 81 location, but not the Surprise Result Road location, Hanse said.
“He had a license with a maximum of 1,000 tires, which he long ago exceeded,” Hanse said. “We’re talking over 10,000 tires. And these are truck tires. Not car tires.”
The town was not informed about the DEC permit, Hanse said.
“It was unbeknownst to the town, which has a dumping law,” he said. “You can’t establish a dump without approval of the town board.”
DEC disputed that Foster had a permit.
"Green Tire Recycling was storing more than 1,000 tires at two separate facilities it operates without a registration or permit in violation of DEC's solid waste regulations," according to DEC.
Foster has moved all of the tires from the Surprise Result property to the Route 81 property to process them, according to orders from the DEC, Hanse said.
“The machinery to process them should be coming on this coming Sunday,” Hanse said. “The Surprise Result Road property is empty of tires.”
Foster did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
Hanse was unsure if a new deadline will be set, since the March 27 deadline has passed.
“DEC has been working very diligently and cooperating with the town marvelously,” he said. “This has been egregious for the town and the residents to have to deal with. We are going to be working with DEC until it is completely cleaned up.”
The DEC orders remain open and corrective actions will be required until the facility is in compliance with solid waste regulations, according to DEC.
“DEC will continue to work closely with town of Coxsackie officials to ensure both sites are cleared and public health and the environment are fully protected,” according to DEC.
Hanse said he will advocate to DEC to have the initial permit revoked,
“DEC will allow him to go back to the Route 71 site, once they go down to 0 tires, he would be able to use that permit to go back up to 1,000,” Hanse said. “I would be lobbying to DEC to lift that license.”
Foster registered his business in December 2019, according to the DBA [doing business as] on file with the county.
The last post on Green Tire Recycling’s Facebook page is dated July 2020.
Tire fires are extremely difficult to extinguish, and because tires do not combust completely, tire fires create thick black smoke and an oily discharge as tires melt.
In 1989, a fire at Casings Inc. in Catskill consumed an estimated 2 million tires and burned for nearly a week.