FULTON, Mo.—Missouri officials are launching a plan this month near Fulton, Mo., to clean up what is believed to be the largest pile of scrap tires in the state. Since Sept. 8, a contractor has started shredding an estimated 2 million to 3 million tires at a former Calloway County scrap tire site, a Department of Natural Resources spokesman said.
``It's a big one,'' DNR waste tire unit chief Dan Fester said.
The state will pay Tri-Rinse Inc. of St. Louis 70 cents per tire, or $1.4 million to $2.1 million, to clean up the site. The contractor will use two large tire shredders in a project expected to take a year to complete.
Most of the shredded tires will be used as tire-derived fuel at an Illinois power plant, Mr. Fester said.
An undetermined amount may be used as an alternative daily cover in landfill operations, Mr. Fester said.
The cleanup will be financed with funds generated by a 50-cent fee levied on the cost of new-tire purchases. A small, still to be determined amount, will be paid by a former operator of the tire dump—Recycling Industries of Missouri, Mr. Fester said.
Charlie Wentz owned one of the first tire dumps permitted by the state. Mr. Wentz stockpiled tires at the site from 1990 to 1996.
State officials took Mr. Wentz to court to force him to clean up the site, which stopped the inflow of tires.
The state claimed the height and size of the tire piles were improper, and it faulted the company's financial assurance instrument, Mr. Fester said. The Calloway County Circuit Court in August agreed to a plan that permits state officials access to the site to begin cleanup efforts.
Mr. Wentz planned to recycle the tires using pyrolysis, but he never could generate enough of the material to make the venture worthwhile, Mr. Fester said.
The scrap tire pile is ``typical of a lot of people who got into the tire business with the thought it would be the next new wave and make a million dollars,'' Mr. Fester said.
Mr. Wentz could not be reached for comment.