SPRINGFIELD, Ohio-Two years ago the people of Clark County, Ohio, needed help.
Scrap tire piles at area farms and local auto salvage yards were becoming a nuisance. The county health department worried about mosquitoes, and safety officials worried about fires. The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency also found residents and businesses in violation of new environmental laws because of the large amount of tires.
The Clark County Combined Health District offered residents a grant to pitch in and reduce the amount of scrap tires, thereby making the salvage yards' job easier.
The county originally sent the tires to Columbus for disposal, but eventually officials realized they could do more. The county recognized that scrap tires could be used as backfill and as a replacement for gravel in on-site septic systems. Thus, a new project was born.
Recycling the tires in Clark County would help not only the residents and the salvage yards, it would also help the county. ``We could recycle them in-county to get recycling credit,'' said Anne Kaup-Fett, a spokeswoman for the Clark County Combined Health District.
With approval from the Ohio EPA and the Ohio Department of Health and funding from the Ohio Department of Development, the county is using shredded scrap tires in place of gravel in absorption field lines at on-site septic systems.
Columbus-based Central Ohio Contractors agreed to transport and chip the tires as an in-kind contribution to the program. Residents and salvage yards paid $1 per tire for disposal. Matching funds from the county paid for spreading the tires in the trenches of an on-site septic system.
David Chapman, operator of Citywide Auto Recovery in Springfield participated in the Clark County program. Mr. Chapman's salvage yard had stockpiled 280 tons of tires. With help from the county, Citywide got rid of the tire pile and got off of the EPA's list of violators.
``The program helped me get rid of them at about half the cost of what I would have paid a private contractor,'' Mr. Chapman said. ``I was glad to be rid of them.''
The tire chips seem to be a good replacement for gravel. Randy MacGillivray of MacGillivray Contractors in Donnelsville, Ohio, installed the chips at the county's site.
Mr. MacGillivray said the chips were lightweight and easy to move with equipment and shovels. The material was also easier to walk on and cleaner than the gravel typically used, he said.
The first system was installed Dec. 9 in Bethel Township. The county installed one trench with gravel and the other with scrap tire chips. Observation ports and groundwater monitoring wells also were installed. An alternating device was incorporated into the design to allow flow from one set of trenches to the other.
The first project used 125 cubic yards of scrap tire chips and 375 cubic yards of gravel. It is the first of three such systems planned by the county, Ms. Kaup-Fett said.