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'No tread on me' tires headed out

This view of the plateau of old tires at the landfill shows less than half of the 2,000 tons there.

The pile of old tires at the Carbon County Landfill has reached geologic proportions, visible from space. But it is going away soon.

Thanks to a grant from the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, Carbon County will be able to get rid of some 4 million pounds of tires now stockpiled in vast mounds. According to Commissioner Bill Krompel, those discarded tires won't go to waste.

The commissioner said that they'll be hauled to the Liberty Tire Recycling Center in North Salt Lake. At that 16-acre facility, they will be chopped, chipped and ground down, then magnetically separated into steel, crumb rubber and nylon to be put to other uses.

The steel from belted radials goes to Nucor Steel in Box Elder County, where it will be recycled into rebar. Holcum, Inc., a cement plant in Morgan County, uses nylon and rubber chips to fuel a kiln to make cement. Crumb rubber will eventually find its way to track and football fields via Liberty Tire Recycling. Krompel said the company has contracts to surface about 300 fields west of the Mississippi River.

Carbon County gets to say goodbye to 2,000 tons of rubber, which, if it ever caught fire, would be a disaster.

The cost of the project is estimated at $240,000, Krompel said. Of that, the state will pay 60 percent and tire companies that stockpile tires at the landfill will pick up the remaining 40 percent.

It should take about 120 days to complete once the removal begins in late July.

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