TDEC Announces Tire Program Grant for Liberty Tire Recycling

Thursday, November 16, 2023 | 01:36pm

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) today announced a grant of $500,000 for the Nashville facility of Liberty Tire Recycling, LLC (LTR) from the state’s Tire Environmental Act Program.

LTR will provide matching funds of $1,143,357 and use the grant toward purchasing equipment to process approximately 10,000 tons of scrap tires annually. The project costs $1,643,357 and will help divert approximately 1 million scrap tires each year from landfills.

“We are seeing great advances in repurposing tires for environmental benefits, and this grant for Liberty Tire Recycling is a great example,” said TDEC Deputy Commissioner Greg Young. ”Programs like this not only help clean up sites of used tires, they involve innovative new uses for them. We congratulate Liberty Tire Recycling on this project.”

LTR will install tire shredding equipment that will be able to convert tires into rubber chips that will be suitable for use as either tire-derived fuel (TDF) or tire-derived aggregate (TDA).

The purpose of the Tire Environmental Act Program is to select and fund projects that best result in beneficial uses for waste tires. Projects must qualify for one of three categories: tire processing/recycling, tire-derived material use, or research and development. The program provides grant funding to eligible entities, including local governments, non-profit organizations, higher education institutions, K-12 schools, and for-profit businesses.

Tennessee established the Tire Environmental Fund in 2015. Upon the first retail sale of a new motor vehicle to be titled and registered in Tennessee, a flat fee based on the number of a vehicle’s wheels is assessed. The fee goes into the fund, which is used for projects creating or supporting beneficial end uses for waste tires.

Since 2015, grantees have been awarded almost $6.8 million, and approximately 5.5 million tires or nearly 58,000 tons of scrap tires have been diverted from landfills. The tires are repurposed for use in rubberized asphalt, tire-derived aggregate, tire-derived fuel, granulated rubber porous flexible pavement, and other beneficial end uses that result in tires being diverted from landfills for a higher and better use. 

More information on the Tire Environmental Act Program can be found at this link.