FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 8, 2004) - Nearly $1 million in grant money has been given to 21 schools and governmental entities across Kentucky as part of the Environmental and Public Protection Cabinet’s (EPPC) attempt to deal with one of the state’s most serious solid waste problems – the disposal of old tires.
The waste tire grant program was created to develop local markets for waste tires by supporting projects that recycle tires in creative and environmentally-friendly ways. Most of the grant recipients will use the recycled product to extend the life and improve the safety of community athletic fields and playgrounds.
To date, the program has awarded funding to the cities of Greenville and Williamsburg, the Taylor County Fiscal Court, the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, Danville High School, and Ballard, Boyle, Estill, Fayette, Graves, Harrison, Madison, Mason, Mercer, Nelson, Pulaski, Rowan, Scott, Simpson, Todd and Woodford counties.
The scheduled projects involve using “crumb rubber” made from waste tires. This finely ground rubber can be used for landscaping, playgrounds, horse tracks, septic systems, power plants and road construction.
In playgrounds, rubber is used to reduce the risk of injuries due to falling. In athletic fields, crumb rubber can improve the durability of the grass turf and provide a similar cushioning effect found in playground applications, but not found in other field amendments.
In landscaping, crumb rubber can be colored and substituted for wood mulch to provide a longer-lasting cover that is resistant to rot and sun bleaching. In road asphalt, crumb rubber has been shown to improve wet weather traction and visibility, as well as reduce road noise.
Burned as a coal alternative, tire derived fuel (TDF) can reduce a power plant’s need for coal by 15 percent and lower emissions, helping the plant operate cleaner and more efficiently.
Todd McCoy, resource conservation supervisor for the EPPC’s Division of Waste Management, said, “Clearly, the opportunities to recycle waste tires in beneficial and environmentally-friendly ways are abundant. These new crumb rubber projects are the next step toward developing those opportunities by supporting the initiative and creativity of Kentuckians to develop ways to recycle waste tires in their own communities.”