Waste Tire Reuse Technologies for Civil Engineering Application


Environmental Engineering and Civil Engineering students at Texas A&M University-Kingsville and the South Texas Environmental Institute (STEI) are turning waste products into resources through a project sponsored U.S. EPA Region 6, to evaluate the use of tire bales made of waste tires for roadway construction applications.

The main objective of this study is to conduct and evaluate a field demonstration for the construction usage of baled waste tires in civil engineering applications relevant to municipal and state construction specifications. 

 Typically waste tire materials have not been accepted as a high quality material for construction applications in roadways and slope stabilizations.

According to the US Rubber Manufacturers Association, more than 220 million scrap tires have been generated each year in the past ten years. Of the 300 million scrap tires in stockpile in 2001, the State of Texas had 58 million - the largest stockpile in the U.S.A.

 The State of Texas has a very limited clean up program to dispose of the scrap tires.  In the border communities such as the Cities of Brownsville and Laredo, millions of tires are being stockpiled awaiting disposal creating health and fire safety hazards.

 Recovery and recycling of the scrap tires is extremely expensive and the border communities are literally being dumped on, because of a thriving trade in used vehicles and growing salvaging operations.

Project PI:  Dr. Kim Jones, STEI 
Project Co-PIs:   Dr. Zhanping You, TAMUK; Dr. Martin Bremer, Monterrey Tech, Mexico  
Project partners:  City of Brownsville, Texas
Project Sponsor:  U.S. EPA Region 6
Funding Level:  $45,000