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Shredding May Be Temporary Solution To Tire Litter Problem

June 23, 1988

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) _ A New York company is helping Jacksonville solve its part of the national problem of what to do with the millions of discarded tires littering the landscape.

The company plans to shred 3 million of Jacksonville’s 4 million junked tires and send them to a company in Greece for industrial fuel.

The tires are stored at the Frasier Tire Co. yard, which has been identified as a breeding ground for the Asian tiger mosquito, a suspected carrier of deadly dengue fever and encephalitis.

Jacksonville is paying Oxford Tire Co. of Buffalo, N.Y., $538,000 to shred the tires into the size of charcoal briquets. Oxford said it is selling the shreds to Titan Cement Co. of Athens, Greece, which will use them to fuel a cement plant. ″They actually have produced more (heat energy) than the same amount of coal,″ Don Bayly, assistant director of the Jacksonville Bio- Environment Services Division, said of companies using the fuel.

Bayly said the tires can’t be burned here because local incinerators and boilers aren’t designed to handle them without discharging particulates that would add to air pollution.

Jim LaDue, vice president of Oxford Tire, said the company could shred about 1,000 tires an hour with one machine. It hopes to have about half the tires in the 17-acre dump shredded by the first week in September and be finished by mid-October. The city contract gives the company nine months to do the job.

The city and dump owner Murvin L. Frasier Jr. have been in court since the city sued him in early 1986 over the tire dump. Earlier this month, Frasier gave Oxford the right to shred and remove the tires.

Some of the tires in Jacksonville were imported from Asia by recapping companies, which junked them when they proved unusable. It was in such tires that the Asian mosquito found its way to the United States, health officials say.

In addition to the mosquito danger, the mountains of dumped tires are a major fire hazard that virtually are impossible to extinguish once ignited, Bayly said.

Other ideas are in the works to handle the estimated 2 billion discarded tires littering landscapes throughout the United States, an amount the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says is increasing by 250 million annually.

Bayly said a number of companies are working on incinerators that will burn tires without pollution, while producing carbon black and oil as end products.

According to Oxford’s LaDue, Denver has the largest single tire dump in the United States, with an estimated 8 million tires. Oxford also will be bidding to rid Denver of its rubber mountain, he said.

Oxford began operations in Buffalo last year as a subsidiary of Integrated Waste Systems. Sales manager Tom Flynn said the company has a state permit to shred 10,000 tires a day at its Buffalo plant and is using a shredder at Marion, N.Y., to reduce a pile of 200,000 to 300,000 tires.

He said the chips can be an environmentally sound fuel alternative, given the proper type of power plant.

″We’re looking to burn it with coal on a basis that would eliminate any smoke or fumes from going into the air,″ Flynn said. Companies that use it for fuel, he said, would have the proper scrubbing systems and stacks.

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