Wyoming Tire Inc. was recently cited by the Wyoming Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for having over 1,000 times the legal volume of tires ready for recycling, what the owner is calling “too much of a good thing.”
Owner Dick Ayres stockpiled the tires in hopes to justify the building of a $6 million processing plant, which could convert them into a more marketable rubber material, crumb rubber.
The DEQ permit only allowed 1,300 cubic yards of tires to be stored, but reported that 1.7 million cubic yards were found back in 2008. Satellite imagery of the facility shows “a bold, black splotch spanning an area nearly the size of a football field and divided by several access roads.”
Wyoming Tire Inc. has responded by selling the tires to neighboring states, although winter weather has made shipping somewhat difficult. Ayres points out that all of the tires are candidates to be recycled.
While the most common use for recycled tires is tire-derived fuel (TDF) to serve as an alternative form of energy, they can also be recycled into insulation, boat bumpers, construction materials or the padding for playground equipment.
Feature photo by David Edelstein on Unsplash