MINERVA, Ohio—State officials and private industry will be keeping a close eye on a tires-only monofill opening up in northeastern Ohio. The monofill, at the site of a nine-acre abandoned strip mine outside Minerva, is a joint effort of the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, the Ohio Department of Development, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency and C & E Coal Inc.
It will serve as a model for future scrap tire monofills in Ohio, which according to the Scrap Tire Management Council is among the top states in scrap tires produced annually and scrap tires already stockpiled.
``The success will be if they receive enough tires to make it a viable business,'' said Brian Enck, an environmental specialist with the EPA Division of Solid & Infectious Waste Management Scrap Tire Unit. ``That will be what drives future development in reclaiming old mines with scrap tires.''
It has taken seven years for the monofill to become active. The site has 300,000 cubic yards of air space that will accommodate about 100,000 tons of scrap tires, according to Tom Lyons, the mining engineer who designed the monofill. The site is capable of holding 10 million scrap tires.
The buried shredded tires will be about 100 feet deep. Two-foot-deep layers of intermediate cover will be placed every 20 feet to provide stability and deter fire, according to Mr. Lyons.
The facility is the first in Ohio solely dedicated to scrap tires, according to an EPA spokesman. A nearby monofill, American Landfill Inc.'s Waynesburg, Ohio, facility, is on a site including a landfill for other material.
Once filled, the Minerva site will be covered with 42 inches of compacted-soil cover and 8 inches of topsoil that will sustain a vegetated cover.
C & E Coal is responsible for monitoring the site for 10 years following the closure, and the company reserves the right to remove the scrap rubber in the future.
The firm declined to reveal the price tag for the facility. The Department of Development provided $250,000 in funds from the state's Scrap Tire Loan Grant program to purchase a tire shredder. It was the first such grant to go to a monofill.
Customers will pay C & E Coal to take the tires, and the company will charge by the ton, Mr. Lyons said. The company hopes future scrap rubber demand will allow it to mine what it has buried.
``We're trying to store it for the future so when there's a need for it we can go in and get it for a customer,'' said Hal Timberlake, marketing director for C & E. ``We're experienced in cleaning sulfur from coal so a little dirt on tire shreds won't pose a big problem. The rubber will be available when there's a use for it.''