MUNCIE, Ind. (Sept. 28, 2011)—The owners of the former CR3 tire recycling site in Muncie are cleaning up the last of the scrap tires from the property, the Indiana Department of Environmental Management said.
CR3 was a maker of rubber mulch, playground surfacing and athletic turf, and its owners—Michael Gruppe and his brother William Gruppe III—also were experimenting with recycled tire fiber as an agricultural soil amendment.
In August 2003, however, a fire broke out at the five-acre CR3 site, burning out of control for days and essentially destroying the business. According to the IDEM, there was 19.4 tons of chipped rubber in a building on the property and another 90.5 tons outside.
In 2006, an Indiana county court accepted a plea agreement in which the Gruppe brothers agreed to place $500,000 in escrow to clean up the property. That money funds all cleanup efforts at the site, an IDEM spokesman said.
Some cleanup efforts were made in 2009, but this summer the Gruppe brothers hired a contractor in South Bend to haul the remaining tire material to a landfill in New Castle, Ind.
The IDEM estimates the remaining rubber at the CR3 site at 58,000 pounds. Some of the rubber may be diverted to Michigan for use as tire-derived fuel, according to news reports.