May 2006


Pennsylvania tire reuse project could protect environment

Pennsylvania Governor Edward Rendell announced that Pennsylvania will be investing $700,000 in order to dispose of approximately 500,000 scrap tires.

The money and tires will be used to refurbish rural roads, preventing erosion and sediment from flowing into streams, and reducing breeding grounds for mosquitoes to reduce the spread of West Nile Virus. All of this is an effort to demonstrate low-cost ways to improve quality of life and the environment in rural areas.

Penn State University’s Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies will be responsible for the demonstration. The Center plans on using baled tires as fill material to fix badly entrenched dirt and gravel roads which are common occurrences in rural areas. The bales will be created from whole tires shaped into blocks of approximately one ton each.

The bales will be utilized as a fill base for sections of roads in Madison and Greenwood townships. Drainage structures will also be put into place in order to funnel runoff to vegetated areas rather than into streams. This project is expected to be completed sometime this summer.

The funding for this venture comes from the Starr Waste Tire Reuse Grant Program. This is one of several efforts by the state to clean up the Starr Tire Pile that contains nearly six million waste tires.

Other grants through the Starr Waste Tire Reuse Grant Program have been given out as well. In May of last year, the first two grants were awarded, the first to The Recycling Environmental Group, and the second to Carbon Services Corp. The Recycling Environmental Group received $999,948 for their plan to process one million tires into two-four inch scraps that would be further reduced to crumb rubber at a facility in Bloomsburg. Carbon Services Corp. received $299,970 to remove roughly 2,000 large, hard-to-dispose-of tires. These tires can each weigh half a ton or better so are not suitable for traditional methods of disposal. Instead, they will be baled, filled with concrete and sunk off the coast of Delaware to become artificial reefs in the Atlantic Ocean.


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