WASHINGTON-Prompted by two road fires in Washington state and a retaining wall fire in Colorado, the Scrap Tire Management Council and the International Tire and Rubber Association have jointly appointed an ad hoc scrap tire committee to address the use of tire chips in civil engineering projects. ``In looking at the issue, we felt the most efficient way to handle this was to have a comprehensive scrap tire industry response,'' said Michael Blumenthal, STMC executive director.
The two road fires-one in Garfield County, Wash., the other in the coastal town of Ilwaco, Wash.-occurred earlier this year and effectively have shut down the civil engineering market for tire shreds in 1996, according to Mr. Blumenthal.
A third fire, involving tire chips used in a retaining wall alongside Interstate 70 in Glenwood Canyon, Colo., broke out in October 1995.
Members of the ad hoc group met April 8 in Washington, D.C., to discuss responses to these situations.
They reviewed work in progress at the two locations in Washington state to remediate the sites, as well as broader data on the use of tire-derived materials in road applications.
The group will monitor the remediation efforts and conduct a review of other projects where chips have been used successfully in deep-fill applications.
These sites currently are under study from a scientific and engineering standpoint to determine the differences between the successful applications of scrap tires in road embankments and the reactions that took place in Washington state, the STMC said.
Once results are available, the committee will issue recommended engineering specifications for the use of scrap tires in civil engineering applications. Mr. Blumenthal added the ad hoc committee intends to conduct an educational seminar once all reports are finalized. The earliest possible date for such a presentation is August at Scrap Tire '96, an STMC-sponsored conference in Chicago.
``With any luck at all, we should be able to have information in the right hands for the 1997 (civil engineering construction) season,'' Mr. Blumenthal said.
In addition to Mr. Blumenthal, members of the ad hoc committee include: John Serumgard, STMC chairman; Mary Sikora of Recycling Research Inc. and tire recycling consultant to the ITRA; Richard Gust of Lakin General Corp., an ITRA director; Dana Humphrey, associate professor of engineering at the University of Maine; Joseph Zelibor of the National Academy of Sciences; Mark Hope of Waste Recovery Inc.; and Robert Snyder, a retired engineer with Uniroyal.
The committee also has invited Dick Cheney of the Federal Highway Administration to join the group.