State fines Modesto garbage company Gilton $142,000

kvaline@modbee.comAugust 9, 2013 

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Tires await recycling at the Gilton Resource Recovery Transfer Facility in Modesto Friday August 9, 2013. State of California wants to fine Gilton $142K for violating policies in handling waste tires.

ANDY ALFARO — Modesto Bee Buy Photo

  • ABOUT THE REPORTER
    alternate text Kevin Valine
    Title: Reporter
    Coverage areas: City of Modesto and nonprofits
    Bio: Kevin Valine has been a copy editor and reporter at The Bee since January 2006. He's worked at the Reno Gazette-Journal, Sarasota (Fla.) Herald-Tribune and Paradise Post as a reporter and copy editor. He's a graduate of San Jose State.
    Recent stories written by Kevin
    E-mail: kvaline@modbee.com

— A state agency is seeking a $142,500 penalty against Gilton Solid Waste Management, alleging the Modesto-based trash hauler did not complete the required paperwork in its handling of waste and used tires.

The California Department of Resources Recycling & Recovery served Gilton on Aug. 1 with the administrative complaint. Gilton contracts to pick up garbage for about a dozen valley governments, such as Modesto, Oakdale, Gustine, Oakdale and Riverbank.

The complaint alleges Gilton:

• Failed to submit paperwork — called manifest forms — for 283 loads of waste and used tires from July 1, 2012, through Dec. 31. CalRecycle officials say they learned about the deficiency through auditing Gilton's records.

• Failed to complete manifest forms according to the forms' directions.

• Failed to post its Tire Program Identification Number in a conspicuous place at its business.

CalRecycle officials say that because used and waste tires pose a public health and safety and environmental concern, it's critical that their pickup, storage and disposal be accurately documented to ensure tires end up in landfills or recycled and not dumped.

CalRecycle officials say the penalty conforms with state regulations for the alleged violations.

Richard Gilton, the company's owner and president, said his workers correctly handled the tires and said the problem may be with state officials being overly concerned because a document is missing a check mark.

"I'm sure not going to pay the fine," Gilton said. "I don't believe they are accurate on what they are claiming" in the administrative complaint.

CalRecycle officials declined to talk about the specifics of the complaint. But they said their agency provides tire haulers and recyclers with updates, instructions and other help in how to fill out the manifests. The complaint says Gilton received this assistance.

Gilton said he will request a hearing to challenge the complaint.

The hearing could be held within 90 days. The hearing officer has 60 days to render a decision. Gilton can appeal that decision to Superior Court.

The administrative complaint also states Gilton was storing too many tires — approximately 35,000 — at its South McClure Road facility in Modesto, in violation of its permit. Gilton officials removed the tires, and CalRecycle is not seeking a penalty for that incident.

The waste and used tires can be recycled into such products as tire bark for playgrounds, rubberized asphalt for roads and rubber mats. They also can be used on cars and trucks if they meet safety standards or end up in landfills after they have been shredded.

Gilton picks up tires in the Northern San Joaquin Valley and foothills and the Bay Area. The administrative complaint says Gilton has been handling waste and used tires since 1997. Besides the current complaint, Gilton shows up one more time on the CalRecycle website listing tire-related enforcement actions dating to 2000.

In 2012, Gilton agreed to pay $500 for transporting at least one load of waste and used tires to a site not authorized by CalRecycle, according to the website.

Bee staff writer Kevin Valine can be reached at kvaline@modbee.com or (209) 578-2316.

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