Fostering Scrap Tire Markets In Vermont

A collaborative governmental initiative is tackling ways to use recycled tire rubber in road projects

Vermont, a state with the second smallest population, ranking fifth in size and with no formal state scrap tire program, is taking on the challenge of using recycled materials in its roads—a challenge bigger, more-populated states have shied away from.

Eldan Recycling

Both the Vermont House and Senate Natural Resources and Transportation Committees have shown great interest in using recycled materials in road projects, Jim “Buzz” Surwillo of the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR) told attendees at the recent Scrap To Profit Conference in Nashville, Tennessee.

At the legislature’s behest, in 2015 ANR convened a diverse “Tire Stakeholder Group” charged with making recommendations for future tire management strategies, Surwillo said.

Shortly after, the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) came before the Group and spoke of the potential to use scrap tires as lightweight fill, underdrain, and in ground tire rubber modified asphalt.

VTrans formed a Recycled Materials Workgroup consisting of a team of VTrans representatives including a Paving Program Manager, Planners, a Material and Research Manager, Construction Engineers, Design Engineers and ANR’ s Surwillo.

In 2016, representatives of ANR and VTrans appeared before the House and Senate Transportation Committees and strongly encouraged lawmakers “to make something happen “with recycled materials in transportation infrastructure.

The VTrans Recycled Materials Workgroup, which began meeting monthly in April, 2016 to develop workplans on VTrans use of recycled materials, is moving forward with work plans, specifications, and projects for Recycled Asphalt Shingles and Shredded Tires for Underdrain, Surwillo said. On a slower track the VTrans Workgroup is exploring the use of wood chips, compost, Processed Glass Aggregate, and Ground Tire Rubber (GTR) in Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA).

Surwillo said VTrans considering a 2018 GTR-HMA pilot paving project. As part of that effort the Workgroup visited neighboring New Hampshire to see GTR-HMA mixing plant and learn more about how the material is used and performs. Another Workgroup-led project involves the use of tire shreds as road underdrain.

Based on engineers evaluations, a section of Vermont Rt 73 scheduled for rehabilitation/improvement, will use tire shreds in place of conventional aggregate in the road underdrain.

Surwillo credits the interagency collaboration with helping advance scrap tire markets in the state. Currently, most collected scrap tires are transported to surrounding states and Canada. and with no markets, only one tire processor currently operates intermittently in the state.

Surwillo suggests that the collaborative model is something other states may want to consider as a way to foster or increase scrap tire markets in their state. He offered these take-aways for developing a successful collaboration: understand and accept differing missions, organization and philosophies, learn what you can about the entities subject matter, to better “talk the talk”,have reasonable expectations, and don’t overload the agenda. Anticipate slow, incremental progress and have patience. “It makes us pay attention”, he said. “ And, open, frequent communication helps keep up the momentum.”

© Scrap Tire News, December 2017