Nebraska DEQ Awards $1.9 Million For Tire Recycling Projects

Tracks and sports fields get more than half of this year’s grants.

The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has awarded $1.93 million to support 101 tire recycling and cleanup projects across the state. Among the largest awards the city of Columbus received a $118,460.25 grant to reimburse a portion of the cost of an artificial turf football field and athletic running track surface using recycled tire rubber. In total, 374,000 pounds of recycled tire rubber were used on the Columbus projects.

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The grant money comes from a $1 fee that is assessed on every new tire purchase in the state.

The grants are part of the Waste Reduction and Recycling grants program and support both the collection of scrap tires and the purchase of new tire-derived products.

This year, for the first time, more than half – about $1.1 million – of the grant funding went to schools for sports-related projects including new artificial turf sports fields and running tracks.

This marks a move away from rubberized asphalt which in the past received a major portion of the state grants to supplement the higher cost of paving with rubber, NDEQ officials said. With the cost of paving with rubber now equal to or less than the cost of traditional asphalt paving in the state, the need to incentivize highway projects has diminished, according to the NDEQ.

In addition to the City of Columbus, four other grants of more than $100,000 went to projects that include synthetic turf field installations.

Two colleges in the state and three additional school systems also received grants ranging from $25,000 to $88,000 for artificial turf fields.

Grants for community scrap tire collections, rubber playground mats, and rubber mulch as well as for the use of crumb rubber in molded products also saw an increase in the 2013 grant round.

© Scrap Tire News, July 2013