The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) will accept applications beginning Monday, Jan. 16 for grants from the state’s Tire Environmental Act Program (TEAP). The grants are to fund projects that create or expand uses for waste tires. Such projects include tire recycling and processing, using materials such as aggregate that are derived from tires, initiating research and development in tire management, using tires for alternative fuels, or promoting innovation in infrastructure.
“We have seen great success in Tennessee in finding uses for waste tires,” said TDEC Commissioner David Salyers. “Such innovation and commitment help protect our environment, and we encourage Tennesseans with such projects to apply for these grants.”
Tennessee produces approximately 6 million waste tires every year. TEAP has helped divert more than 5.5 million tires since the program’s inception. The Tennessee General Assembly established the Tire Environmental Fund in 2015. Since then, grantees have been awarded more than $6.7 million to address waste tire disposal in the state.
The deadline for submission of grant applications is April 15. There are no restrictions on eligible entity types. All organizations are eligible to apply for the funding. The Tire Environmental Act Program is funded through a flat fee assessed to the sale of new motor vehicles in Tennessee based on the number of wheels of the vehicle. The fee is $5 for a new vehicle with four or fewer wheels, $10 for new vehicles with more than four but fewer than 11 wheels, and $15 for new vehicles with 11 or more wheels.
These are reimbursement grants, meaning an applicant will need to have start-up capital to apply for funding. The minimum grant request is $10,000, and the maximum grant request is $1 million. There are varying levels of matching funds required based on entity type. As part of the application, applicants must demonstrate how their project will improve or enhance beneficial end uses for scrap tires.