At Sen. David G. Argall's (R-29) request, the Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee is reviewing Pennsylvania's Waste Tire Recycling efforts.

The joint committee's review began with a public hearing Monday morning at the Capitol. Pennsylvanians currently generate roughly 12 million scrap tires each year, which is enough to stretch from Harrisburg to Los Angeles, and back.

"The hearing was very informative to hear the progress on a state law I first introduced in 1995," said Sen. Argall. "I was pleased to learn that 93 percent of waste tire piles throughout the state have been effectively removed as a result of that law, reducing the number of waste tires from 36 million in 1996 to roughly 2.43 million tires today. This hearing served as an opportunity to hear about what is working and what needs to be improved with the Waste Tire Recycling Act."

The Joint Legislative Air and Water Pollution Control and Conservation Committee public hearing focused predominately on working with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation to implement cost savings measures to use waste tires in asphalt.

Several testimonies focused on the effectiveness and long-term benefits that rubberized asphalt provides both travelers and taxpayers, noting that rubberized asphalt could require 60 percent less maintenance after 10 years of service.

This will result in a cost-savings to the taxpayer of approximately $900 per lane mile.

Sen. Argall concluded, "Testimony by the rubber manufacturers cited our tire recycling efforts as 'an extraordinary environmental victory.' As a Scout leader, I have pulled waste tires out of creeks and rivers in Schuylkill County. I remember black smoke with toxic fumes and a terrible odor from a waste tire pile catching fire outside of Pottsville. Now, our children enjoy playing soccer where the waste tire pile once littered the landscape. Our next step is to keep the pressure on to clean up the last waste tire piles in Pennsylvania, once and for all."