FORD HEIGHTS, Ill.—Ford Heights residents are relieved that the last remnants of shredded tires are gone from their neighborhood. Browning-Ferris Industries Inc. and KTI Inc. recently removed the tire shreds. The firms cooperated to remove some 7 million shredded scrap tires from the village's tire shredding and incinerator site that were left behind when the plant's owner filed for bankruptcy and closed up shop two years ago.
``This was a significant threat that loomed over the village of Ford Heights,'' said Sam Zaitlan, senior vice president of Guttenberg, N.J.-based KTI.
The two firms split the $1.4 million cost to remove and dispose of the tires.
Workers started the task in late December and finished in early March, two months ahead of schedule, said Charles Murphy, BFI area vice president.
BFI operated the tire shredding portion of the site, providing fuel for the incinerator.
The company ceased operations when Illinois' governor repealed the state retail rate law, forcing the site's owner to shut down the incinerator, Mr. Murphy said.
Although the tire piles were in compliance, BFI worked with the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency to develop a plan to get rid of the shreds.
``It took away any fears the community might have and the company would have of any kind of disaster,'' Mr. Murphy said. ``There was an expense to do that, but at the same time it was the right thing to do for the community and for the company.''
KTI, which acquired the site through bankruptcy court, plans to reopen the tire-shredding facility as the country's largest cryogenic operation for recycling scrap tires, Mr. Zaitlin said.
He expects the plant to be operating by the end of summer.
It will produce crumb rubber to fuel a revamped waste-to-energy facility at the site, which should be running by the end of the year, he said.