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Waste Tires in Tennessee

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What are the 2014 changes to the Waste Tire Grant Program?

After July 1, 2014, the Department of Revenue will make direct payments to the counties based on quarterly tire pre-disposal fee collections. The amount a county will receive is $1.00 per new tire sold by tire generators based on quarterly reporting to the Department of Revenue. Learn more about the Waste Tire Program Transition.

What does the law say about waste tires?

The Tennessee General Assembly passed the Solid Waste Management Act of 1991, which created the Waste Tire Program. Whole tires are banned from disposal in all landfills. The Act requires each county to provide one temporary waste tire collection site for its citizens and tire dealers. The Act also requires the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) to provide assistance grants to counties, and develop a program to find beneficial reuses for their waste tires. Counties are now prohibited from disposing of tire shreds in a landfill if beneficial end uses are available. TDEC may clean up illegal tire dumps and seek cost recovery from the responsible party.

How is the program funded?

The program is funded by a $1.35 pre-disposal fee paid by consumers on new tires sold at retail. It includes all tires for vehicles that travel on state roads along with those from farm tractors and equipment. You can learn more about the tire fee and find the necessary return forms by visiting the Department of Revenue.

What does the Waste Tire Program provide to the community?

TDEC provided grants to construct county waste tire collection sites until 1995. The tires collected there are hauled away by the county's contractor for reuse and recycling. TDEC provides grants to counties to assist in collecting and finding beneficial end uses for their waste tires. TDEC also forms partnerships with local governments to clean up illegal tire dumps.

Where can a homeowner or tire retailer take their old tires?

Every county must provide a collection site for its citizens. Call your county court house or solid waste office to find out its location, hours of operation, and fees.

Whether or not your tires are recycled depends on the program your county has in place.

Can tires be disposed in landfills?

Whole tires are banned from disposal in landfills. Beginning July 1, 2002, counties will be prohibited by state law from disposing of shredded waste tires in landfills if the net costs exceed the cost of an available beneficial end use. TDEC is working to find ways for counties to economically recycle or reuse their waste tires so landfilling is unnecessary.

Who is TDEC's waste tire shredding contractor?

The statewide shredding service provided to counties was discontinued on July 1, 2002. TDEC does not currently contract with any company for hauling, collecting, shredding, disposing, or recycling of waste tires.

What regulations exist for storing and processing waste tires?

TDEC's Division of Solid Waste Management regulates the storage, processing, and disposal of waste tires. Chapter 0400-11-01.

Does TDEC regulate or register waste tire haulers?

No, TDEC does not require specific registration for waste tire haulers nor maintain a list of them.

What are beneficial end uses for waste tires?

TDEC recognizes the following as grant eligible beneficial end uses:

  • Using tire-derived fuel (tdf) in cement kilns or industrial boilers for the capture of energy.
  • Production of tdf provided the Department approves of the specific end-use.
  • Crumbling or pyrolysis of tire material provided the Department approves of the specific end-use.
  • Civil engineering applications, such as Class I landfill construction, road construction, and subsurface sewage disposal system aggregate.

Are there any other allowable end-uses for waste tires?

TDEC's Division of Solid Waste Management may allow other end uses of waste tires that are not grant eligible on a case-by-case basis.

What are the tipping fees charged for tire disposal in Tennessee?

Counties may charge any tipping fee for tires that does not exceed the regular tipping fee for other solid waste. Counties receiving Waste Tire Grants agree to provide free tipping on tires collected from their citizens unless the grant is not adequate to cover their costs. Counties may then justify an additional fee but must keep it to a minimum. TDEC does not keep a list of tipping fees charged by counties or landfill operators.

What is being done about illegal tire dumps in Tennessee?

Illegal tire dumps have been identified and prioritized for remediation. When cleaning up a dump, the law requires TDEC to seek cost recovery from the responsible parties. Illegal tire dumping should be reported to the Division of Solid Waste Management's field staff or call 1-888-891-8332.

Does Tennessee use recycled tires in asphalt?

In 1998 the Tennessee Department of Transportation placed two projects using crumb rubber modified hot-mix asphalt using materials made from scrap tires. Each 100 pounds of hot mix contained 2 pounds of recycled rubber. The test projects, both sections of Highway 70, are located in Shelby and Dickson Counties and are about 7 miles each. TDOT is continuing to evaluate the performance of these projects.

For more information on Tennessee's Waste Tire Program, please contact Louis Bordenave at 615-532-0095.