AKRON-General Tire has taken on the dirty task of cleaning up pollution at its company-owned sites. The firm is decontaminating about 3,000 tons of dirt using bioremediation, which encourages the bacteria found in soil to eat away oil and gas that has seeped into the ground.
The cost of burying soil in a landfill can run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars, said Mike McNally, director of General's Environmental, Health and Safety Department. The bioremediation project will save General about $50,000.
General has taken dirt from an Akron tire store, which the company recently sold on the condition it would clean up any oil or gas contamination, and spread it over a parking lot behind the firm's headquarters.
Since the firm no longer owned the land, General couldn't try the in-ground bioremediation under way at its closed Waco, Texas, plant, which uses pipes to carry nutrients and oxygen that the contaminant-eating bacteria need.
Over the next six to 12 months, workers will till the nutrient-enriched plot monthly to expose it to oxygen. Eventually, General will seed the area with grass.