The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) announced a grant of $750,000 for Tennessee Tire Recycling (TTR) in Lebanon from the state’s Tire Environmental Act Program. TTR, a division of Rockwood Sustainable Solutions, will provide matching funds of $914,170 and use the grant for purchasing equipment related to the hauling, collection, and transportation of tires between counties. The company will increase hauling capacity through the purchase of a truck, trailers for collection, and a mobile grinder to support counties across the state with additional options for managing waste tires. The project will cost $1,664,170 and allow TTR to recycle 700,000 tires annually.
“TDEC is proud to support the business community in its efforts to implement environmentally responsible actions,” said TDEC Commissioner David Salyers. “TDEC is a resource, not just a regulator. We are proud to be a resource in working with our communities through the grant process while working with the Tennessee General Assembly to obtain the funding for grants that help protect our natural resources and grow local economies throughout the state.”
“I am so pleased that Tennessee Tire Recycling will receive such a sizable grant from TDEC,” said Sen. Mark Pody, R-Lebanon. “TTR is working to meet a significant need in Tennessee, and I applaud their efforts. This grant will make it so hundreds of thousands of tires in Tennessee will be recycled and repurposed, which will not only benefit our environment but also helps boost our economy by strengthening the recycling industry. I appreciate TTR for their efforts to secure this grant and TDEC for overseeing such a quality program.”
“The Tire Environmental Act Program does a great job of encouraging the re-use, re-purpose, or recycling of used tires.” said Rep. Clark Boyd, R-Lebanon. “Not only does this provide much needed raw materials for important purposes, it ultimately keeps tons of tires from being placed in landfills each year. I look forward to the positive impact this project will have in counties across Tennessee.”
The purpose of the Tire Environmental Act Program is to select and fund projects that best result in beneficial uses for waste tires. Projects must qualify for one of three categories: tire processing/recycling, tire-derived material use, or research and development. The program provides grant funding to the eligible entities, including: local governments, non-profit organizations, higher education institutions, K-12 schools, and for-profit entities.
Tennessee established the Tire Environmental Fund in 2015. Upon the first retail sale of a new motor vehicle to be titled and registered in Tennessee, a flat fee based on the number of a vehicle’s wheels is assessed. The fee goes into the fund, which is used for projects creating or supporting beneficial end uses for waste tires. Since 2015, grantees have been awarded almost $4.5 million, and approximately 3.6 million tires or nearly 42,476 tons of scrap tires have been diverted from landfills. The tires are repurposed for use in rubberized asphalt, tire-derived aggregate, tire-derived fuel, granulated rubber porous flexible pavement, and other beneficial end uses that result in tires being diverted from landfill for a higher and better use.