AB 1647 (Gordon, 2011-12) - Tires

Increases the enforcement of existing tire hauling and manifesting laws to prevent the illegal export of waste tires and creates a new incentive program to support California tire recylers.

Position and Status.

Support. Passed the legislature with bipartisan support and signed by Governor Jerry Brown!


Read Assembly Member Gordon's comments on the passage of this bill.


AB 1647 steps up enforcement on unpermitted waste tire facilities that are operating illegally and undermining California’s environmental goals.

Tire recyclers and processors have been reporting an increasing number of waste tires that are being sent to unpermitted facilities. The tires are then loaded into cargo containers and hauled to California ports, reportedly in overweight trailers, where they are shipped overseas. Recent investigative journalism in Australia has shown that tires that are marked as being destined for Vietnam, are off-loaded to trucks and then ferried overland to China (in violation of Chinese law which prohibits the import of tires). They are subsequently burned in small kilns for fuel and oil byproducts.

According to some accounts, legitimate California tire recyclers, processors and tire-derived product manufacturers have noticed a 50% drop in waste tire flow and tire feedstocks. Several recyclers claim that they might not be able to stay in business if they have to compete with illegal bailing operations. The diversion of tires from domestic recycling to combustion overseas also has a significant impact on the state’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and increase the recycling of waste tires.

CalRecycle, the lead regulatory agency for tire facilities, has significantly increased enforcement on these illegal facilities and the tire haulers who deliver to them, issuing several Notices of Violations, Cease and Desist Orders, and Cleanup and Abatement Orders. Nonetheless, these unpermitted facilities have been able to abuse the lengthy statutory and regulatory enforcement timelines to continue to operate unabated and undercut California’s permitted tire recycling businesses.


AB 1647 will:

  • Allow CalRecycle to use an expedited hearing and enforcement mechanism, similar to that used for other solid waste facilities, instead of relying on a lengthy administrative law process.
  • Allow CalRecycle to immediately reject permit application for entities that continue to break the law but use “filing a permit” as a stall tactic, and disallow bad actors from resubmitting their permits for a year.
  • Set clear standards for what an illegal facility must do if it is issued a clean-up and abatement order, and direct CalRecycle to inspect the facility to insure compliance with clean up orders or violations.
  • Allow CalRecycle to request an injunction from the Attorney General’s office for egregious violations in a timelier manner.
  • Require tire brokers to register with the state, at no cost to them.
  • Direct CalRecycle to provide incentives for domestic tire processors and recyclers, using their existing budget and authority.

CAW Staff Contacts.
Nick Lapis (916) 443-5422

Assembly Member Gordon
State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814

Chaptered Language

Californians Against Waste (Sponsor)
Ag Link, Inc.
BAS Recycling
CRM Company
Lakin Tire West
Shamrock Recycling of California
Solid Waste Association of North America
Tri-C Manufacturing