HUDSON, N.Y.—While most landfills refuse to accept whole tires today, some are discovering that tire shreds make an excellent material for covering debris. Al Skawinski, president of Cycletech Inc. in Hudson, recently completed a project using 2.6 million shredded tires as cover for a gas-venting network at the county-operated landfill in his city.
The methane gas generated by the decaying debris in the landfill is captured by the system and vented harmlessly into the atmosphere, Mr. Skawinski explained.
The 2-inch shreds were used in place of 56,000 yards of crushed-stone aggregate, saving taxpayers nearly $160,000, he said. The project took about one year to complete.
That's not to say 1996 was an easy year for the company, however. Last year, according to Mr. Skawinski, the state ordered Cycletech to stop accepting tires after discovering the company had more on hand than the 100,000 authorized under its permit.
``It was our fault,'' admitted Mr. Skawinski, who estimated there were about 1 million tires on hand at the time. ``We're about to finish with the cleanup now.''
In order to satisfy the state, he said, the company has spent nearly $1.25 million in cleanup and remediation operations, including construction of fire access roads and retention ponds, and installation of a new system for piping water from a nearby 52 million gallon lake if a fire should occur.
The company currently is negotiating with the state attorney general's office and hopes to be given the green light to begin accepting tires again within weeks.
``They allowed us to keep cleaning up,'' he said. ``But it was a struggle because they cut off our cash flow. So we had to fund the whole operation from investors.''
By cash flow, Mr. Skawinski said he was referring to the $32-per-ton tipping fee Cycletech was charging haulers for accepting loads of scrap tires.
Meanwhile, tipping fees have risen sharply in the wake of New York Gov. George Pataki's effort to clean up all the tire dumps in the state, Mr. Skawinski said.
By the time the company begins accepting tires again, he estimates the going rate will be up to about $60 ton. ``They've shut everybody down in New York state,'' he said.