Waste Tire Enforcement

CalRecycle Authority

In 1990, the California Legislature enacted comprehensive requirements for the storage and disposal of waste tires. The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) is responsible for tire pile stabilization and remediation in cases which public health and safety and the environment may be at risk. Consequently, regulations were adopted to establish and enforce waste tire storage and handling standards.

Public Resources Code section 42961.5 required that CalRecycle (formerly the CIWMB) develop a “California Uniform Waste and Used Tire Manifest.” The intent is to “close the loop” on accountability by requiring that copies of each manifest be submitted to CalRecycle for monitoring tire loads and movement within California. In addition, regulations have been developed to provide guidance and procedures in meeting manifest system requirements. This program went into effect in 2003 and was revised significantly in 2005.

CalRecycle uses the information generated by the waste tire manifest system to ensure that all waste tires generated and transported within California have been accounted for and delivered to permitted end use facilities. Discrepancies will be actively enforced. Chapter 838, Statutes of 2000 (Escutia, SB 876) increased the maximum civil penalties for violations of the waste tire hauling and manifesting requirements from $10,000 to $25,000 per violation per day as described in Public Resources Code (PRC) section 42962, and increased administrative penalties from $1,000 to $5,000 per violation per day.


Since 1994, CalRecycle’s tire enforcement staff has overseen an inspection program. Enforcement staff also investigates sites that pose a threat to the public health, safety, or the environment that are referred by local agencies.

The central objective of facility, site, and hauler inspections is to achieve compliance through oversight and education to the greatest extent possible, and to provide accurate information for entry into a statewide database. Inspections may be performed by CalRecycle staff or by tire enforcement agency inspectors.

Enforcement staff follows up inspections of unpermitted sites with reports that inform the property owner/operator of the site that any person who stores, stockpiles, accumulates, or discards more than 500 waste tires is required to obtain a waste tire facility permit or other authorization from CalRecycle.

Handling and Storage Violations

Owners and operators in violation of waste tire enforcement statutes or regulations will be issued a Waste Tire Survey and Inspection Report (CIWMB Forms 181, 182, 183) that lists the violations and specifies the date when inspectors will re-inspect to determine whether the violations have been corrected. If the violations were not corrected by the specified re-inspection date, CalRecycle can take a number of enforcement actions.

CalRecycle can issue cleanup and abatement orders (CAO) for waste tire storage violations, and/or issue complaints seeking administrative or civil penalties. (See enforcement orders.) In addition, CalRecycle can refer cases for criminal prosecution. CalRecycle does not waive its right to take enforcement action for those violations occurring prior to the compliance deadline date.

Operating a waste tire storage facility without a waste tire facility permit is a misdemeanor under the Public Resources Code, sections 42825 and 42835, punishable with a fine up to $10,000 per day of the violation and/or up to one year imprisonment in county jail.

Hauling and Manifest Violations

Any person transporting 10 or more used or waste tires must be a registered waste tire hauler with CalRecycle and track tire transactions on a manifest form. Enforcement efforts vary depending on the type of violation. For some violations (non-controversial, involving less than 2,000 waste tires, and subject to penalties less than $5,000), an abridged administrative hearing process or “streamlined penalty program” is used. Essentially, a lower penalty is offered to the violator in lieu of prosecution through the more lengthy administrative complaint process.

For those violations that do not qualify for the streamlined penalty program, CalRecycle seeks maximum penalties through the administrative hearing process and/or civil and criminal actions. (See enforcement orders listing.) Civil penalties for violations of the waste tire hauling and manifesting requirements are $25,000 per violation per day, and the maximum administrative penalties are up to $5,000 per violation per day (PRC Section 42962).

Streamlined Penalty Program

A penalty letter details the waste tire hauling or manifest violation and provides two options for the violator: 1) pay a reduced penalty amount based on pre-approved criteria and do not contest the findings, or 2) contest the findings at a hearing at which CalRecycle will ask the Administrative Law Judge to assess the maximum penalties stated in the original findings. If the violator accepts the reduced penalty offer, CalRecycle issues a stipulated decision and order. (See enforcement orders.) When the violator signs and returns the notice with payment, the decision is final.

Since the program started in 2008, more than 95 percent of the streamlined penalty offers have been accepted by the tire haulers. The streamlined penalty process has saved CalRecycle vital resources by reducing travel costs, court fees, attorney fees, etc. As a result, staff has also been able to prosecute a significantly greater number of cases.

Informal Tire Hearings

On Jan. 1, 2013, Chapter 534, Statutes of 2012 (Gordon, AB 1647) became effective and established a new process for informal hearings for tire enforcement and permit denials, revocations and suspensions.

Enforcement Process

The Tire Enforcement Flow Chart depicts the typical waste tire enforcement process that CalRecycle staff or the tire enforcement agency (TEA) grantee follows after conducting an inspection of a tire hauler, generator, or end-use facility. A text description of the flow chart is available. This enforcement process lists the typical scenario that is followed; however, in different circumstances, these processes can vary.


CalRecycle is responsible for investigating complaints regarding tire haulers or storage/facilities. If you think you have a valid complaint, E-mail us at WasteTires@CalRecycle.ca.gov. Include the following information and attach any evidence that you may have.

  • Name of the Person/Business the Complaint is Regarding
  • Date/Time of Violation
  • Location of Violation Observed
  • License Plate Number & Vehicle Description
  • Quantity of Tires
  • A brief statement describing the nature of your complaint

Please include your contact information in the E-mail, should CalRecycle staff have any further questions regarding the nature of the complaint. CalRecycle will ensure that you remain anonymous.

Partnerships With Other Agencies

Local Government
CalRecycle provides funding to city and county agencies with regulatory authority within the city/county government for waste tire enforcement activities. These TEAs are responsible for performing initial inspection and follow-up inspections for all waste tire facilities and sites located in their jurisdictions.

Air Resources Board
Video surveillance is placed at locations where CalRecycle suspects violations of waste tire laws. To conduct the surveillance, ARB uses high tech video equipment to monitor the activities at suspected locations and reports all findings to CalRecycle for follow-up