Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Shredded tires a cheap, environmentally friendly way to cover landfills


Placing shredded tires on top of -- rather than in -- landfills can save money and benefit the environment, researchers from the University of Illinois say.

Timothy Stark, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Krishna Reddy, a professor of civil engineering at the University of Illinois at Chicago, recently evaluated the use of shredded tires as a drainage material in waste-containment systems. Shredding tires into chips roughly 4 inches by 6 inches, they report, offers a simple and cost-effective way of providing drainage for modern landfills, remediating older landfills, and disposing of mountains of scrap tires.

Nearly 280 million tires are discarded annually in the United States. Piles of worn-out tires can become eyesores and breeding grounds for mosquitoes. In landfills, intact tires can collect methane (produced by decomposing waste) and create potential fire hazards. Over time, these tires can work their way to the surface, where they can damage liner covers and cause increased leachate production that could contaminate groundwater.

"As a result, many states now require that scrap tires be shredded into chips prior to disposal," Reddy said. "Instead of simply burying those chips with all the other waste, we suggest using them as a drainage layer in both modern and abandoned landfills."

The drainage layer prevents water from percolating through the waste and polluting the ground water, Reddy said. Typically, the drainage layer is composed of sand or gravel, which must be purchased and transported to the landfill.

To investigate the feasibility of using shredded tires as a surrogate drainage material, scrap tires were shredded and distributed as drainage layers at two landfills: one in southern Illinois and the other near Chicago.

Stark and Reddy monitored the two sites for such characteristics as settlement, erosion, flow rates and water quality, and compared them with conventional sites that used sand or gravel. The researchers also measured the permeability of tire chips in the laboratory.

"Our research shows that replacing the sand or gravel with a layer of tire chips works just as well and costs less," Stark said. "The tires must be shredded for disposal anyway, so there is fairly little expense compared to buying and hauling sand or gravel."

The remediation of old landfills could consume huge quantities of scrap tires. "A drainage layer one-foot-thick covering one acre requires about 70,000 tires," Stark said. "A typical landfill covers 10 to 20 acres, and there are about 150 abandoned landfills in Illinois, alone, that are in need of some degree of remediation."

Shredded tires also could be used as backfill behind retaining walls and in other locations where sand or gravel is commonly used, the researchers report.

James E. Kloeppel | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Locomotion control with photopigments

Researchers from Göttingen University discover additional function of opsins

Animal photoreceptors capture light with photopigments. Researchers from the University of Göttingen have now discovered that these photopigments fulfill an...

Im Focus: Surveying the Arctic: Tracking down carbon particles

Researchers embark on aerial campaign over Northeast Greenland

On 15 March, the AWI research aeroplane Polar 5 will depart for Greenland. Concentrating on the furthest northeast region of the island, an international team...

Im Focus: Unique Insights into the Antarctic Ice Shelf System

Data collected on ocean-ice interactions in the little-researched regions of the far south

The world’s second-largest ice shelf was the destination for a Polarstern expedition that ended in Punta Arenas, Chile on 14th March 2018. Oceanographers from...

Im Focus: ILA 2018: Laser alternative to hexavalent chromium coating

At the 2018 ILA Berlin Air Show from April 25–29, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is showcasing extreme high-speed Laser Material Deposition (EHLA): A video documents how for metal components that are highly loaded, EHLA has already proved itself as an alternative to hard chrome plating, which is now allowed only under special conditions.

When the EU restricted the use of hexavalent chromium compounds to special applications requiring authorization, the move prompted a rethink in the surface...

Im Focus: Radar for navigation support from autonomous flying drones

At the ILA Berlin, hall 4, booth 202, Fraunhofer FHR will present two radar sensors for navigation support of drones. The sensors are valuable components in the implementation of autonomous flying drones: they function as obstacle detectors to prevent collisions. Radar sensors also operate reliably in restricted visibility, e.g. in foggy or dusty conditions. Due to their ability to measure distances with high precision, the radar sensors can also be used as altimeters when other sources of information such as barometers or GPS are not available or cannot operate optimally.

Drones play an increasingly important role in the area of logistics and services. Well-known logistic companies place great hope in these compact, aerial...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Industry & Economy
Event News

Ultrafast Wireless and Chip Design at the DATE Conference in Dresden

16.03.2018 | Event News

International Tinnitus Conference of the Tinnitus Research Initiative in Regensburg

13.03.2018 | Event News

International Virtual Reality Conference “IEEE VR 2018” comes to Reutlingen, Germany

08.03.2018 | Event News

Latest News

Wandering greenhouse gas

16.03.2018 | Earth Sciences

'Frequency combs' ID chemicals within the mid-infrared spectral region

16.03.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Biologists unravel another mystery of what makes DNA go 'loopy'

16.03.2018 | Life Sciences

Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>