SC County Officials Ready to Seize Tire Recycling Site In Wake of Second Tire Fire

This is not a repeat article. Sadly, it reports on a repeat occurance –the second large tire fire in two months at the Viva Recycling-owned tire recycling site in Anderson County, South Carolina.

The latest outbreak was reported about 7:30 p.m. Thursday, February 20, drawing crews from seven fire stations with firefighters remaining on the scene through mid-day, Friday, February 22.

Eco Green Equipment

There was another fire on the property the month before.

With two fires in two months, county officials have said “enough” and are calling for condemnation of the property.

SC County Officials Ready to Seize Tire Recycling Site In Wake of Second Tire Fire

Photo Credit: Ken Ruinard

“Our goal is to condemn the site, take this site forcibly and clean it up and never allow anything else to go here. Hopefully, we will just turn it into a nice, green area,” County Administrator Rusty Burns said in an interview at the scene.

“The problem is getting control,” Burns said. “We’re at our wits end…it’s time for drastic measures”.

Burns said the county had previously asked the property owners to turn over the site over to the county but the property owners rejected their request.

“They even had the audacity to ask us to pay for it — we’re not going to do that,” he said.

When Viva Recycling first came to Anderson County in 2014, it announced it would invest $6.9 million in its tire processing facility .The company said it would use rubber from old tires to create products such as landscape mulch, playground safety flooring, rubber sidewalks, pavement and asphalt.

In 2017, Viva Recycling paid $83,000 in fines for violating state rules. Despite a permit that limited the business to keeping 4,000 tires on its seven-acre site, inspectors had found nearly 70,000 tires on the property.

Before the fire, Anderson County officials had estimated that the cleanup of the Viva Recycling property in Anderson County will cost more than $1 million. County Administrator Burns said that Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) officials have agreed to “help us financially to clean it up.”

This is not the first time property owned by Viva Recycling has posed a serious environmental and health risk to the citizens of South Carolina nor the first time DHEC has had pay to cleanup it up. The state agency spent $3.3 million in 2019 to clean up a Viva Tire Recycling facility in Monks Corner, where more than 1 million tires were left to rot. Source: The Independent Mail

© Scrap Tire News, March 2020