MI EGLE Awards 4.7M For Scrap Tire Market Development

Lansing, MI - The Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy today announced the funding of more than $4.7 million in grants to develop new uses for used vehicle tires.

When illegal dumping in the environment occurs, scrap tires pose both a fire hazard and a human health risk as a mosquito breeding ground. These grants help reduce or eliminate instances of illegal dumping, support proper collection and handling, and begin to define scrap tires as a commodity, rather than a waste material. 

These scrap tire grants support building sustainable markets for recycled tire materials in Michigan.  Grants have traditionally included support for essential equipment and materials that aid in the establishment of new markets, including various manufacturing processes, implementation and testing of paving materials, energy generation, and other innovative approaches. 

These grants contribute to a more sustainable business model for the scrap tire industry through increased market opportunities for scrap tire processors, end users, and manufacturers.  The 2021 funding will be used to support the following projects:

Entech Inc.: $1,303,120

Entech Inc. is proposing to install 100 lane miles of asphalt rubber chip seal.  The project goals are introducing agencies to rubberized chip seal so they can see the benefits of the material firsthand, gain necessary experience in installation of the material, use the material as another tool to extend the life of roads, improve overall road quality, and incorporate the use of more scrap tires into road surfaces.  Entech Inc. is the largest single site producer of crumb rubber in the United States.  Project partners will include Michigan Technological University (MTU), Cactus Paving, and road commissions including Bay, Ingham and Kalamazoo (and possibly Chippewa and Midland). Cactus Paving installs between 400 and 600 lane miles annually of asphalt rubber chip seal in various climate and geological conditions and will be involved with selection of roads to be sealed, installation and staff training.

I Do TDA Inc.: $1,155,000

I Do TD Inc. is requesting funding for an innovative portable bagging unit to pre-compact Tire Derived Aggregate (TDA), encased in geotextile fabric bags that are easily stored, transported and ultimately installed at the job site.  Monte Niemi is the industry leader in civil engineering uses of TDA over the last 30 years.  As part of the grant, I DO TDA Inc. will provide training to engineers in Michigan. This training will provide continuing education credit to these engineers as well as educate them on the many uses of TDA in construction and road projects. The project also will install TDA blocks on three demonstration sites in Michigan utilizing approximately 900,000 tires made into 15,000 TDA bales. The TDA material used to create TDA blocks will be sourced from Michigan scrap tire processors. 

Ingham County Road Department (ICRD): $450,000

The ICRD is requesting to pave five lanes of Lake Lansing Road from Wood Street to US-127 in Lansing Township. The project team will consist of university research staff, a professional asphalt testing firm and the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). The project continues research on a previous ICRD grant project using devulcanized rubber (DVR) modified asphalt cement binders. The project has two primary goals: (1) to reproduce favorable observed performance of the DVR modified asphalt projects done in 2016 on Hagadorn Road and 2017 on Holt Road; (2) to partner with MDOT to perform production testing to verify that the DVR modified asphalt binder consistently meets Performance Grade Binder specifications, or if not, to correlate performance with laboratory testing results to develop/propose specification revisions applicable to DVR modified binder materials. 

Dickinson County Road Commission (DCRC): $410,000

The DCRC is requesting to pave part of CR 577.  The project will utilize a technology not previously used in Michigan – a rubber-based pellet. The use of these pellets reduces the fuel and energy needed to prepare rubber modified asphalt. Compared to traditional terminal blended RMA, there is no need to keep rubberized liquid asphalt hot during shipping and storage, saving energy and money. MTU is a partner, conducting laboratory testing, on-site performance evaluation, and technology transfer to other interested agencies.

MTU: $396,031

MTU is partnering with Bay County Road Commission and Clare County Road Commission.  Mixture design and sample preparation will be completed in MTU laboratories. The project will document pavement conditions prior to construction and evaluate the performance of the rubberized asphalt mixture. The project team will conduct field sampling, noise measurements and surveys and report the results to EGLE.  The results will also be presented at regional or national conference and be offered for training to county road and MDOT engineers. 

Clare County Road Commission will divide 1.15 miles of two-lane road into three test sections.  The first test section will be conventional subgrade and conventional overlay. The second test section will be conventional subgrade and rubber overlay.  The third test section will be tire derived aggregate (TDA) subgrade and rubber overlay. 

Bay County Road Commission will be comparing a rubber overlay and a conventional pavement overlay on part of South 7 Mile Road from East Midland Road to East Beaver Road. 

Cobalt Holdings LLC: $298,521

Cobalt is requesting equipment to increase production by reducing two-inch nominal tire chips into material that is 4 or 5 mesh size crumb that is used by their customers. Cobalt also requested another four-shaft R-222 Quad shredder and a cooling fluid chiller. Also included are a truck scale that will produce operational efficiencies, an automatic tire feeder and a separator magnet to be installed at the facility. 

St. Clair County Road Commission: $209,300

SCCRC will pave part of Taylor Road in Kimball Township, which is a highly used commercial highway with terminal blend RMA. During every day of paving, the asphalt will be sampled at the plant and taken to a certified laboratory for testing. MTU staff will conduct additional sampling and analysis.  After construction SCCRC will perform Pavement Surface Evaluation and Rating (PASER) annually to document the condition of the project. The grantee meets monthly with several local cities and villages and will provide project updates. The grantee believes that the success of this RMA project could increase RMA production at the local asphalt plant by 25 percent. 

Porous Pave: $150,000

The funding request is for increasing the market for Sand Guard and golf cart paths. Sand Guard is designed to be the most innovative golf course bunker lining material on the market and is made primarily from recycled tires along with stone aggregate and a binding agent. Porous Pave will incentivize three golf courses to complete sizeable bunker liner installations and do an educational media campaign for their products that will focus on the golf industry. 

Ingham County Road Department: $80,000

ICRD will resurface Bellevue Road; the focus of the grant funded project area is a segment crossing 325 feet of wetland just west of Byrum Road. Construction is anticipated to begin in May 2021. The project area will excavate approximately 3 feet from proposed profile grade and replace with lightweight iron blast furnace slag fill placed within scrap tire casings as confinement. High density polyethylene geogrid reinforcement mats will be used below and above the lightweight fill to reinforce and separate the lightweight “mattress.” The project design calls for approximately 5,000 passenger car tires to be used for containment of the 673 cubic yards of fill. 

Paving Research/Market Development Study: $250,000

Significant interest exists in regards to performance evaluation for historical paving projects, as well as further market analysis to determine trends in the scrap tire markets. The program has proposed to either offer a Research Study RFP to curate details and information about historic projects and their performance, or to utilize funds for additional market study analysis and trending data. The results of this study are critical to expand the use of scrap tires in road construction projects.

Into the Outdoors: $15,000

As a result of a contact forwarded by the EGLE Press Office, a partnership opportunity has arisen to produce an educational series with 17-time Emmy-award winning television show “Into the Outdoors” regarding the Life Cycle of a Scrap Tire. Plans call to produce four 15-minute segments, including web content, classroom content and outreach. The “Into the Outdoors” series appears on syndicated educational television on five major networks and as a broadcast partner with PBS. The program will contribute funding for one of the segments. The remainder of the funding is being raised through the U.S. Scrap Tire Workgroup, the U.S. Tire Management Association and interested scrap tire industry partners. 

For more information, call the EGLE’s Environmental Assistance Center at 800-662-9278, or visit Michigan’s Scrap Tire Program:  Mi.gov/ScrapTires.

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