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Taking the tire the final mile.

The Problem

The Scott County, Iowa, Health Department, through complaint investigations, determined that large numbers of waste tires were being illegally dumped in ravines, in road ditches, and on farms. In addition to marring the landscape of Scott County, the tires presented the community with public health problems. Waste tires provided harborage for vermin; breeding grounds for mosquitoes; and an ever-present fire hazard. Accumulations were found in both rural and urban areas.

Of the estimated 160,000 waste tires generated each year in Scott County, proper disposal of only a small percentage of these could be confirmed. In 1990, only 10,000 waste tires were received at the Scott County Sanitary Landfill facility, down from an average of 110,000 in previous years. This was likely the result of an increase in the surcharge collected by the landfill to recover the cost of disposal ($1.25 per car tire, and more for larger tires). Iowa legislation, effective July 1, 1991, further compounded the waste tire dilemma. This legislation prohibited the landfilling of whole, unprocessed tires, adding even more to the cost of processing and transporting waste tires.

In order to reach state mandates requiring the reduction of solid waste being landfilled, the state of Iowa had already begun to focus on recycling and recovery of materials. Prior to 1991, efforts to recover/recycle waste tires in Scott County were minimal and fragmented. It became apparent that Scott County needed a convenient, low cost option for the disposal of tires. In addition, alternative uses and markets for waste tires needed to be explored.

Goal and Objectives

The overall goal of the Scott County Health Department was to reduce the number of waste tires illegally disposed of in Scott County. The health department recognized that a coordinated effort involving various entities, which deal with tires in the community, would be essential to the success of a comprehensive waste tire management program. The Scott County Waste Tire Task Force, led by the health department, was formed to combine the ideas and resources of concerned individuals and agencies. The task force included public works officials, recycling coordinators, the landfill director, tire industry representatives, and private industry.

Several objectives were established by the task force. Those objectives included:

* making provisions for convenient, low cost disposal of tires, including stockpiles;

* diverting tires from the waste stream by finding and exploring options for recycling tires;

* providing information to increase public awareness of the tire problem and of the proposed solutions; and

* promoting participation in tire recycling efforts.

Methodology

The task force worked to develop both immediate and long-term strategies for dealing with the waste tire issues. These strategies consisted of periodic free, tire collection events, the reduction of tire disposal charges at the Scott County Landfill, and the development of markets for the waste tires.

The "kick-off" event organized by the task force was a Waste Tire Amnesty Day held July 13, 1991, at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds and the Scott County Landfill. Volunteers, including elected officials and community leaders, unloaded tires from private vehicles and stacked them in roll-off containers. As the containers at the fairgrounds were filled, they were hauled by a private contractor to the landfill for processing. In the pre-event promotional materials, businesses with large quantities were asked to go directly to the landfill to minimize time spent handling the tires. Similar logistics were utilized for subsequent collection events.

The second Waste Tire Amnesty Day took place on October 17, 1992, as a component of the Iowa Waste Tire Collection Pilot Program, funded in part by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. During Earth Week in April 1993, a third tire collection event was conducted at the Scott County Landfill. Three drop-off sites, including the landfill, the fairgrounds, and the Scott County Secondary Roads facility in rural Scott County, were provided for a fourth collection event, May 21, 1994. The health department staff also assisted many Scott County communities in coordinating their own separate tire collections in conjunction with the major events.

Public response to the collection events was positive, confirming for the task force that informed citizens are motivated to properly dispose of tires when the cost and inconvenience are minimal. After the first Waste Tire Amnesty Day in 1991, the task force recommended review of the Scott County Landfill's tire disposal fees and suggested that a reduction of the usual fees might help curtail illegal dumping of tires. The Scott Area Solid Waste Management Commission responded by initiating a policy allowing Scott County residents to bring five waste tires, at any time, to the landfill at no charge. Other tire disposal fees were also reduced.

Promotion of the waste tire collections was included in various recycling presentations given by staff members from the health department and the landfill to schools and civic and fraternal organizations. News releases regarding the events prompted several radio and television interview/stories and newspaper articles. The Scott Area Solid Waste Management Commission included announcements of the special events in its newsletter, "What's Up With Waste," which is distributed to the 67,000 households and businesses in Scott County. An electronic billboard atop a high-rise bank building was also used for advertising, and posters announcing tire collection events were distributed to area businesses for display.

The task force, through the Scott Area Solid Waste Management Commission, made provisions for the tires to go to various primary markets and end users. These included RoseBar Tire Shredding, Vinton, Iowa, which produces tire-derived fuel; ADM, Inc., Decatur, Illinois, which is a tire-derived fuel processor and end user; and Lafarge Corporation, Buffalo, Iowa, which used tires as fuel in a test burn at its local Scott County cement plant.

Resources

The staff and deputy director of the Scott County Health Department contributed a significant amount of time and effort to ensure the success of the waste tire program, as did the staff and director of the Scott County Landfill. The Scott County Secondary Roads Department provided personnel and equipment to assist with collection at one of the small unincorporated communities. In other municipalities, waste tire collections were conducted by local officials. The Mississippi Valley Fair Board donated the use of the fairgrounds as the collection site for the Waste Tire Amnesty Days.

Major funding for the $23,300 cost of the first Waste Tire Amnesty Day in July 1991, was provided by the Scott Area Solid Waste Management Commission. Financial support was also provided by various cities, private industry, and the Scott County Board of Supervisors.

For the second event held in October 1992, Scott County received a grant of $50,000 from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The use of this grant money was restricted to expenses incurred for the collection of tires from individuals only. Funding for other activities of the Waste Tire Task Force, including the collection of tires from businesses, was obtained from the Scott Area Solid Waste Management Commission in the amount of $50,136.

The Waste Tire Task Force also had the opportunity to work with a local industry as a possible end user for waste tires in Scott County. Lafarge Corporation, which manufactures cement, made modifications to the kilns at its Davenport, Iowa, plant to accommodate whole tires as a fuel supplement. During the week of June 7, 1993, Lafarge conducted an initial "test burn" in accordance with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources' regulations. Preliminary stack emissions test results looked favorable, as did the results of a follow-up test burn conducted in January 1995. Lafarge has since received tentative approval from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources for implementing the use of tires as an alternative fuel. Presently, the conditions for utilizing the process are being negotiated. Once the terms are finalized, Lafarge will begin to phase-in the use of waste tires as a fuel supplement. In the first year, Lafarge expects to burn 200,000 waste tires. In the second year, approximately 400,000 tires will be consumed. By the third year, Lafarge anticipates utilizing 550,000 tires as fuel in its cement manufacturing process. This third-year figure will enable Lafarge to purchase 10% less than the 130,000 tons of coal per year currently consumed by the plant. Lafarge is now paying $25 per ton for coal. A 10% reduction will save the company $325,000. additionally, the company's disposal fee of $.15-.25 per tire will generate a revenue stream of up to $137,500. Thus, the estimated fuel cost benefits to Lafarge Corporation will be approximate $462,500 per year.

Results

During the first Waste Tire Amnesty Day in July 1991, a total of 37,851 tires were collected. The number of tires collected through special events since that time totals 70,080. Of that total, 39,480 alone came from stockpiles in the county, and 8,034 were collected at the October 17, 1992, event. It is estimated that 10,000 citizens participated in the various events. All total, over 107,000 waste tires from ravines, road ditches, and garages were recovered/recycled since the Scott County Waste Tire Task Force was formed in 1990. The recycling efforts of the task force have served not only to remove used tires from the waste stream, but also to conserve energy resources. These benefits translate into the improved quality of life as manifested by the enhanced visual appearance of the community, the elimination of mosquito breeding grounds, and the reduction of fire hazards. Such positive results are the outcome of increased public awareness and community involvement with the task force projects.

Through the media exposure given all of the aforementioned projects and events, Scott County citizens are now better informed of the waste tire problem and the possible solutions. The information is reinforced through reminders in the Scott Area Solid Waste Management Commission quarterly newsletter. In addition, the recycling staff of the Scott County Landfill and the environmental health staff of the Scott County Health Department provide updates on tire issues through events and ongoing presentations to schools and service organizations.

Galen Al Moore, R.E.H.S., Deputy Director, Scott County Health Department, 428 Western Avenue, Davenport, IA 52801.
COPYRIGHT 1995 National Environmental Health Association
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1995, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:management of waste tires
Author:Hall, Jackie
Publication:Journal of Environmental Health
Date:Jul 1, 1995
Words:1691
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