New York State To Recycle Millions Of Waste Tires
The state of New York has completed a plan that will result in the cleanup of 95 waste tire stockpiles, possibly eliminating as many as 29 million tires located in tire dumps across the state.
As part of the plan, the Departments of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and Transportation (DOT) will partner on the initiative to recycle scrap tires for use on state highway projects.
Contractors will soon begin work to remove eight million tires at the Mohawk Tire facility in Waterford. More than 2.5 million discarded tires were removed from the site in 2000 and 2001 through a contract issued by the DEC, but the tires remaining at the site continue to pose a threat to the surrounding community and businesses.
Mohawk Tire’s proximity to the Hudson River continues to be of concern to state and local officials. The tire abatement project at Mohawk Tire will require that the remaining eight million tires be removed from the property within three years.
The Waste Tire Management and Recycling Act of 2003 requires the DEC to prepare and implement a comprehensive plan designed to abate all noncompliant waste tire stockpiles in New York state by September 10. The DEC expects to begin stockpile cleanups this fall.
Funding for this program is provided through a $2.50 fee added to each new tire purchased. The fee is deposited into a Waste Tire Management and Recycling Fund to be used for the cleanup of waste tire stockpiles and to develop markets for newly generated waste tires.
From September 2003 through May 2004, DEC inspectors visited 162 locations and documented 95 noncompliant waste tire stockpiles. There are an estimated 29 million waste tires in these stockpile sites.
The five largest noncompliant waste tire stockpiles represent approximately 85 percent of all stockpiled tires. In addition to the Mohawk facility, these sites include the Fortino Site in West Monroe; Hornburg Tire in the Village of Sinclairville; New York Tire in Smithtown; and Cycletech in the City of Hudson. The state is currently developing and accepting bids to initiate mitigation activities at these sites.
The discarded tires must be used in a beneficial manner to the greatest extent possible. Unwanted waste tires have been used in the past in steel production, as crumb rubber for rubberized surfaces, and as tire shreds for use in civil engineering applications including road construction and landfill construction.
Shredded tires will be used on DOT projects as embankment filler to help reduce the amount of gravel necessary for many highway projects. Tire shreds are lightweight, compact, and drain better than conventional gravel material used on highway embankments.
Shreds are placed in layers one-foot thick, compacted up to a total thickness of 10 feet, and covered on the sides and top with soil and pavement. The shreds are first wrapped on all sides with a material known as geotextile, a type of very tough cloth, to prevent the soil cover from infiltrating the tire shred layer.
The first DOT project that will utilize the shreds will be a bridge elimination project on Interstate 87 in Clinton County, expected to begin this month. This project will replace the bridge with a large embankment, utilizing 10,220 metric tons of tire shred, the equivalent of one million scrap tires. Subsequent projects could use as many as 25 million tires.
Provided by the Environmental News Service.