BUFFALO, N.Y. — New York State´s chief economic development agency has given the State University of New York´s University at Buffalo a $1.8 million grant to continue research into civil engineering and other recycled tire applications.
"Our main goal is to help the state keep a diversified market for scrap tires," said Louis P. Zicari, associate director of the university´s Center for Integrated Waste Management, which has an ongoing scrap tire research and market development program. "We are trying to develop new outlets and strengthen current outlets for scrap tires."
Particularly, the center is looking for new ideas to push the envelope for scrap tire use in civil engineering, according to A. Scott Weber, the center´s director.
The center has conducted field tests on the use of shredded tires as a groundwater leachfield aggregate, and encouraging results have led to a full-scale field test program. Besides investigating scrap tires in other civil engineering applications, the center will use the grant money to investigate environmental questions surrounding the use of scrap tires in civil engineering, such as the migration of metals into soil and groundwater from chipped tires, Weber said.
As well as conducting research, the center plans to establish a central clearinghouse of information on scrap tire recycling. It also will bring together a group of experts from segments of the scrap tire industry and research community to create a forum to discuss topics of interest to tire recyclers.
Weber declined to name any potential members of the group, because he had not yet issued invitations. The group, however, will encompass tire recyclers, end users, academics, technology providers and government officials.
The Environmental Services unit within Empire State Development provided the grant money, according to Jim Gilbert, tire recycling market specialist within the unit.
Since the late 1980s the unit has funded projects to promote recycling and recycling markets within the state, Gilbert said. It spent about $8.5 million on recycling projects last year, about $4 million for tire recycling.