TDEC Announces Tire Program Grant for Lawrence County

Thursday, November 16, 2023 | 01:14pm

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) today announced a grant of $364,426 for Lawrence County from the state’s Tire Environmental Act Program.

Lawrence County will provide matching funds of $91,106 and use the grant to purchase equipment to improve the county’s management of scrap tires. The project costs $455,532 and will support the cleanup of illegal tire dump sites across the county and reduce the health risks they create for citizens.

“We are seeing great advances in repurposing tires for environmental benefits, and this grant for Lawrence County is a great example,” said TDEC Deputy Commissioner Greg Young. ”Programs like this not only help clean up sites of used tires, they involve innovative new use for them. We congratulate Lawrence County on this project.”

Lawrence County recycles approximately 1,100 tons of scrap tires annually. Equipment funded by the grant will allow the county to manage scrap tires in a more efficient and safe manner. To further enhance its efforts, the county will develop a public education campaign through schools and utilize social media to emphasize the importance of proper disposal of tires.

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 eligible entities including: local governments, non-profit organizations, higher education institutions, K-12 schools, and for-profit businesses.

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 $6.8 million, and approximately 5.5 million tires or nearly 58,000 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 landfills for a higher and better use. 

More information on the Tire Environmental Act Program can be found at this link.