Tire Environmental Act Program (TEAP)

Application Period

The Tire Environmental Act Program Grant Application Period is open from January 15th through April 15th, 2024. Please see below for additional information relating to the application process.

General Information

In 2015, the Tennessee Automotive Association partnered with TDEC and the General Assembly to enact Public Chapter 525 that established the Tire Environmental Fund.  Upon the first retail sale of a new motor vehicle that is to be titled and registered in Tennessee, a flat fee based on the number of the vehicle’s wheels is assessed. The fee goes into the Tire Environmental Fund which is used to fund projects creating or supporting beneficial end uses for waste tires.

Since 2015, grantees have been awarded almost $4.5 million and approximately 3,600,000 tires or nearly 42,476 tons of scrap tires have been diverted from landfills. These tires/scrap tires have been re-purposed for beneficial use in rubberized asphalt, tire derived aggregate (TDA), tire derived fuel (TDF), and granulated rubber porous flexible pavement.

The purpose of the Tire Environmental Act Program is to select and fund projects that best result in one of the beneficial end uses for waste tires identified below. The Tire Environmental Act Program provides financial assistance (through reimbursement during a contract term) to organizations in Tennessee to purchase, install, and construct projects that fit into one of the following eligible project categories: 

  1. Tire Recycling: Entities that receive Tennessee tires and process them into a useable end product.
  2. Tire Derived Product Use: Entities that use Tennessee waste tires in a manner that is considered a beneficial use.
  3. Research, Testing, and Development: Entities that conduct research, testing, or development of beneficial uses for Tennessee waste tires.

TEAP is a reimbursement grant, meaning a potential applicant will need to have access to start-up capital. The minimum grant request is $10,000 and the maximum grant request is $1,000,000.  The applicant must, at a minimum, match the grant amount requested. The applicant must specify the match percentage as one of the following:

  • 80% Grant / 20% Match (specific to LEAs, higher education institutions, local government, or nonprofits); or
  • 50% Grant / 50% Match; or
  • Greater than 50% Match (amount specified)

Items Not Eligible for Matching Funds

  • Real property
  • Furniture, furnishings, and fixtures
  • Salaries or wages of employees of for-profit entities
  • Fees associated with permits and associated financial assurance
  • Professional fees, including architectural and engineering services, and administration costs
  • Other items not directly related to the diversion and beneficial reuse of Tennessee tires
  • Expenses outside of the TEAP contract term

Tire Environmental Act Program Application - The Tire Environmental Act Program utilizes TDEC’s Grant Management System. Potential applicants can register and apply completely online. Learn more about GMS. Potential applicants need to register with GMS to apply for the grant.

The purpose of TEAP is to develop and implement programs to enhance collection, transportation, and processing related to Tennessee markets for waste tires and to provide grants to encourage research, technologies, and processes to enhance the use of tires as alternative fuels or in innovative infrastructure developments. Applicants must demonstrate how their project will improve or enhance beneficial end uses for scrap tires. TEAP provides financial assistance to eligible entities in Tennessee that fit into one, or more than one, of the following eligible project categories: 

  1. Tire Recycling: Entities that collect, transport, receive, and process waste tires into a material for beneficial end use, as defined in the footnote below. Some example projects include tire shredding, tire granulation, pyrolysis, and cryogenic processing. Proposals should identify viable end market(s) and associated partners.
  2. Tire-derived Material Use: Entities that enhance beneficial end uses of processed waste tires. Some potential example projects include construction of permeable surfaces that have environmental and engineering advantages, molded or extruded rubber products, and use of tire-derived aggregate in construction erosion control, filtration, or the construction of infrastructure using tire-derived materials.
  3. Research and Development: Entities that conduct research, testing, or development of beneficial uses or products derived from waste tires. Research and development must focus on waste tire management, the use of tires as alternative fuels, or the use of tires in innovative infrastructure developments. Proposals should identify viable end market(s) and associated partners. Some potential example projects include rubberized asphalt research or research of alternative processing technology.

2023 Timeline

Grant open period begins/Announce solicitation

Proposal submission deadline; begin review and processing of applications; determination of scope of services/work for grant awards

Prepare grant offer to successful applicants

Deadline to receive signed grant contracts for processing

Target execution date for grants

Fees are generated from the purchase of new motor vehicles to be titled and registered in the state: 

  • Five Dollars ($5.00) for a motor vehicle with four (4) or fewer wheels,
  • Ten Dollars ($10.00) for a motor vehicle with more than four (4) but fewer than eleven (11) wheels, and 
  • Fifteen Dollars ($15.00) for a motor vehicle with eleven (11) or more wheels.

  • Funds Awarded - $537,916.50 (Phase I); $1,340,248.72 (Phase II)
  • For Phase I Patriot purchased tire shredding equipment and upgraded the facility to allow their production to increase the two-shift total from 350,000 tires per year to 1,000,000 tires a year. For Phase II Patriot added additional equipment to their tire processing line to produce crumb rubber. Patriot is currently the largest tire recycling facility in Tennessee.
  • Scrap Tires Diverted from Landfills - 26,000 tons or 2.1 million tires and increasing daily
  • Funds Awarded - $123,655.00
  • Rockwood Construction Recycling, LLC was awarded funds to purchase tire shredding equipment for the purpose of supplying tire shreds to the City of Lebanon Waste to Energy Initiative project.  Problems developed with the metal in the tires and the tire shreds were discontinued as a fuel source at the gasification facility.  Rockwood developed other end uses for the tire shreds such as tire derived aggregate (TDA), which has been approved by the TDEC Division of Water Resources for use as backfill in subsurface sewage disposal system field lines.
  • Scrap Tires Diverted from Landfills - 1,449 tons or 115,664 tires
  • Funds Awarded - $750,000
  • Friendly Environment has utilized TEAP funding to do facility upgrades. These upgrades allow the company to collect and process used tires into shreds. The Friendly Environment Tire Grinding Project, through cooperation with local distributors, receives, processes, and chips waste tires to a particular size to be used in filling two end-market products, the Erosion Eel and Gutter Eel. The Erosion Eel and Gutter Eel products are designed for effective erosion control by utilizing rubber otherwise directly disposed of in a landfill. 
  • Scrap Tires Diverted from Landfills - ~600,000
  • Funds Awarded - $95,6177.00
  • Metro Nashville installed porous tree surrounds consisting of 1/8-inch granulated rubber chips on 2nd Avenue  in downtown Nashville. This application of processed waste tires is both economical – cheaper than the conventional alternative, while requiring less maintenance – and environmentally friendly. The porous tree surrounds allow water to pass through the material to help prevent cracking, which will benefit  the trees by allowing better rain water absorption and creating less stress on the root system of the trees.  The tree surrounds will also increase safety and reduce maintenance costs to the City by eliminating sidewalk heaving/cracking and preventing tripping hazards.
  • Scrap Tires Diverted from Landfills - ~53 tons or ~1,197 tires
  • Funds awarded: $116,785.00
  • The Town of Tellico Plains, located in Monroe County, reconstructed an existing pathway in the Tellico Plains Town Park. Scope of this project included removing the existing six-foot-wide trail and replacing it with a ten-foot-wide flexi-pave surface.
  • Projected scrap tires diverted from landfills: ~6,000
  • Funds awarded - $13,997.50
  • Henry Horton State Park in Marshall County constructed an Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible porous pathway containing granulated rubber. This ADA compliant pathway provides access to a wheelchair accessible playground, learning, and adventure area. This project in Marshall County had additional private partners, including Blue Cross/Blue Shield and GameTime, that provided financial support for the construction of the playground, learning, and adventure area.
  • Scrap tires diverted from landfills: ~1,600
  • Funds Awarded - $250,000.00
  • The Tires to Trails project installed a porous pathways consisting of 1/8-inch granulated rubber chips at the former golf cart paths at T.O. Fuller State Park.  The porous pathway is one of the longest rubber-bearing porous trails in the United States at close to three miles of pathways.  Tires were collected from the neighborhoods and area adjacent to the park, which supported city beautification and citizen engagement. This project turned an unsightly community liability – dumped waste tires – into comfortable outdoor walking trails. Porous trails are also more environmentally friendly than traditional nonporous pavement because they allow water to pass through – avoiding some storm water runoff. .
  • Scrap Tires Diverted from Landfills - ~480 tons or ~36,000 tires
  • Funds awarded - $198,802.50
  • The Town of Troy, located in Obion County, constructed a new, ADA compliant porous pavement pathway located at Trojan Park. Trojan Park. As the park is centrally located, it hosts a community center, several athletic facilities, and playgrounds. With frequent community visitation, and lights (for night-time use) available on the current trail, it is a very visible project in West Tennessee. This project has numerous partners including the design/engineering team at A2H and Recreation Education Services.
  • Projected scrap tires diverted from landfills: ~5,000
  • Funds Awarded - $114,995.00
  • The University of Tennessee and the Tennessee Department of Transportation partnered and were awarded funds to install, test, and analyze three rubberized asphalt projects.  The projects were located in Washington, Rhea, and Davidson Counties.  Each project is currently being evaluated for longevity and performing well.
  • Scrap Tires Diverted from Landfills - 26 tons or 2,115 tires

Any government agency, private company, individual or non-profit organization that is located in Tennessee is eligible to apply. Eligible projects must create beneficial end uses for Tennessee scrap tires.  Applicants must be in compliance with all federal, state and local laws to be eligible. 

Any project outside the Tennessee state line or projects that do not use Tennessee scrap tires.  Projects that do not demonstrate a verified and good return on investment (i.e., number of tires recycled vs. funds/dollars requested) will also be considered ineligible.  Any project that involves Tennessee scrap tires being landfilled will not be eligible for TEAP funding.

Applications will be accepted for three categories of project types: tire recycling, tire-derived material use, and research and development.

The minimum amount of funding that can be requested is $10,000.00 and the maximum amount that can be requested is $1,000,000.

Examples of funded projects can be found on this page, in the section above.

TDEC will answer questions concerning tire recycling projects eligibility and provide limited information about similar projects successes and/or failures.  TDEC will not provide economic advice or the feasibility of a project being profitable.  Feasibility studies are recommended and are the responsibility of the applicant.

Projects may begin after the Grantee is notified by State that the grant contract has been fully executed.  Any work performed outside of the contract term will not be reimbursed.

Grantee will have three years from the effective date of the project contract to complete the project (unless a longer contract length is approved by TDEC). Contract terms may be extended upon justification and request. Projects must be completed by the end date set out in the executed contract. Work performed after the executed contract end date will not be reimbursable.

Payment of project expenses takes place on a reimbursement basis. The Grantee must make payments for work completed and then submit required invoice documentation to TDEC for payment.

Payments will be made electronically through the Automated Clearing House (ACH).  Grantees will be required to provide account information in order to receive a grant reimbursement.

Grant funds may not be used for architecture and engineering services.

Grantees are responsible for the continued operation and maintenance of the project, if appropriate and as specified in the grant contract.  It is required by the contract that grantees must submit a quarterly report for Tennessee tires that have been sent to beneficial end-market use. The reports will be required for a period of time designated by TDEC.

The funding is not federal funding so Davis-Bacon does not apply. However, if the project involves a state highway construction project as defined by Tennessee Code Annotated § 12-4-402, then the Prevailing Wage Act for State Highway Construction Projects does apply.

No. (Limit only one application per entity, per location at a given time.)

If an applicant has an open contract with the TDEC from a previous TEAP grant round, then the applicant can’t apply.  If the applicant’s previous project has been physically complete for more than 30 days and has been approved as complete by TDEC, then the applicant can apply.

The Grant Application, Grant Manual, and Questions and Answer compilation are posted on the current page.

Reporting required for the grant application will include origin of tires (proof of Tennessee tires being processed) and quantities of tires going to beneficial end-market use (proof of end use destinations).


Chris Pianta
Program Manager
Office of Sustainable Practices