The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) has announced a grant of $1 million for Crumb Rubber Manufacturers Co. (CRM) of Tullahoma from the state’s Tire Environmental Act Program.
CRM will provide matching funds of $4,326,617 and use the grant toward purchasing equipment to develop a circular tire recycling system. The project costs $5,326,617 and will recycle 2 million scrap tires annually, providing 54 new jobs for Coffee and Franklin counties.
“TDEC is proud to support the business community in its efforts to implement environmentally responsible actions,” said TDEC Commissioner David Salyers. “TDEC is a resource, not just a regulator. We are proud to be a resource in working with our communities through the grant process while working with the Tennessee General Assembly to obtain the funding for grants that help protect our natural resources and grow local economies throughout the state.”
“I’m thrilled Crumb Rubber Manufacturers has been awarded this sizeable grant for a fantastic project that will greatly benefit the environment and the local economy,” said Sen. Janice Bowling, R-Tullahoma.
“This new recycling program is great news for Tullahoma and all of Tennessee,” said Rep. Rush Bricken, R-Tullahoma. “Not only will it help protect our environment by recycling millions of used tires, but it will also bring new jobs to our area. I appreciate TDEC and CRM for making these important investments in our community.”
CRM and partners will develop a new, local sustainable market for rubberized modified asphalt. The company has other locations across the U.S. and Canada and has a track record for processing large amounts of tires for beneficial end use.
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 the eligible entities, including: local governments, non-profit organizations, higher education institutions, K-12 schools, and for-profit entities.
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 $4.5 million, and approximately 3.6 million tires or nearly 42,476 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 landfill for a higher and better use.