State says $3.6 million in grant money will go toward diverting scrap tires from landfills.
Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Bob Martineau have announced the awarding of 44 tire recycling-related grants in the Volunteer State.
The scrap tire recycling grants total more than $3.6 million in fiscal year 2014-15. The grants are supported by Tennessee’s Solid Waste Management Fund, which receives revenue from a fee on the purchase of new tires.
Tennessee recycles an estimated 55,000 tons of passenger tire equivalents per year, according to a DEC news release. Beneficial end-use methods for scrap tires include using tire-derived aggregate in civil engineering projects, crumb rubber for asphalt paving and molded rubber products. The majority of Tennessee’s scrap tires are used as tire-derived fuel (TDF).
“The keys to this program’s success are the efforts of our local county and community partners,” Haslam says. “Reducing the number of tires in landfills and redirecting the tires to a better use helps conserve Tennessee’s natural resources for future generations.”
The General Assembly authorized scrap tire grants in the Solid Waste Management Act of 1991. The grants assist counties with the collection, processing and transportation of the tires to beneficial end-use facilities. Counties are reimbursed $1 per eligible tire and are required to provide at least one scrap tire collection site. Counties may charge an additional fee if the grant is not adequate to cover costs.
The fund is administered by the DEC and $1.25 from the $1.35 pre-disposal fee collected is used to supplement the counties’ costs for scrap tire recycling and services.
In championing the use of scrap tires for TDF, the Tennessee DEC points out that a study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that TDF used in a properly designed and maintained combustion device emits fewer pollutants than conventional fossil fuels. In the state, Resolute Paper (formerly AbitibiBowater), Packaging Corporation of America, Cemex Cement, Buzzi Unicem USA, and Gerdau Ameristeel are among the companies using processed scrap tires for fuel or as a source of carbon in their manufacturing process.
“The Solid Waste Management Fund continues to provide support to Tennessee communities and it’s important that local county governments continue to focus on waste reduction as part of their overall waste management plans,” says Martineau.