DEQ grants millions for scrap tire reuse

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Earlier this year, the state doled out money to several Michigan communities to clean up scrap tires. Now, more money is being allocated to reuse some of those tires.

The majority of the $2.5 million in funding is being spent on “rubber modified asphalt” projects.

According to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, using tire scraps as part of the paving process means those tires won’t end up in landfills. Also, rubber modified asphalt is more resistant to cracking, and produces less road noise.

Joe Wisniewski, Director of Engineering with the Saginaw County Road Commission, is pleased with the process.

“It’s just another step in the right direction,” he said. “It’s not going to solve any long-term problems, but it makes other projects a little bit more achievable.”

Saginaw County received nearly $130,000 in grant money to reuse the scrap tires.

Michael Marshall, Scrap Tire Program Coordinator with the Department of Environmental Quality, said there are numerous risks associated with scrap tires.

“They cause significant issues with mosquitos,” he said. “They carry diseases like West Nile virus and encephalitis. They also cause problems with fire. Tire fire is extremely difficult to extinguish, the smoke is just nasty and nobody wants it around. And the runoff from these piles can get into public wellheads, streams and rivers.”

Here is a full list of areas receiving money for scrap tire reuse effforts:

  • Michigan Technological University – $1.192 million
  • Michigan State University – $500,000
  • Lapeer County – $232,712
  • Saginaw County – $128,063
  • Village of Birch Run – $123,900 for two projects
  • City of St. Clair – $113,000
  • City of Clio – $103,800 for two projects
  • City of St. Johns – $75,000
  • City of Vassar – $35,125