The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has granted $4.4 million to the state's 89 counties for waste tire abatement in the 2005-06 fiscal year, down 10.2 percent from 2004-05.
According to the TDEC, the state has awarded waste tire grants to counties since the legislature passed the Solid Waste Management Act of 1991.
The grants pay for counties to process and transport tires to end-use facilities. The state reimburses them $70 per ton of tires handled and requires each county in turn to maintain a waste tire collection site.
Waste tire dollars are allocated to counties based on population and estimated waste tire stream, according to a TDEC spokeswoman.
This year's $4.4 million allocation compares with the $4.9 million disbursed in 2004-05. The reduced figure reflects adjustments based on historical data regarding the number of waste tires coming into the system, she said.
Tennessee pays for its waste tire program through a $1 fee on all new tires sold; 90 cents out of each dollar collected goes toward scrap tire abatement, according to the TDEC.
The TDEC Web site estimates that Tennessee generates about 5 million scrap tires annually.
The agency estimates that processors within the state will recycle more than 60,000 tons of tires during fiscal year 2005-06.