Communities across the Upper Peninsula have been awarded over $760,000 over the past five years for scrap tire recycling projects and abandoned tire removal projects. The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy’s (EGLE) scrap tire program in the Upper Peninsula is in the spotlight this week, as the Upper Peninsula State Fair takes place in Escanaba. EGLE staff are on hand at the fair in the Ruth Butler Exhibition Building during fair hours to answer questions and provide helpful information on the scrap tire program and other environmental topics.

Motorists who drive over certain sections of County Road in 607 in Dickinson County are driving over pavement that was made with over 3,500 scrap tires. The rubberized asphalt has demonstrated better performance than conventional asphalt in a cold climate. In Ontonagon County, an EGLE grant helped remove oversized mining, semi and passenger tires along 1.5 miles of Lake Superior shoreline.

Kirsten Clemens, EGLE’s scrap tire coordinator, notes that of the 10 million tires Michigan generates, 100% are recyclable. “Tires can be turned into mulch, incorporated into roads, shredded and used as aggregate in backfill and drain fields, not to mention new tires or plastic,” she said. “And since abandoned tires also pose a fire risk and a health risk from mosquito-borne illness, recycling is the best thing to do with scrap tires.”

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