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Tire recycling options explored
wheel tax

Warren County is looking for a new way to recycle tires and a few possibilities were mentioned at the latest Tri County Railroad Authority meeting.

The current place Warren County recycles tires has increased its cost by 40%, according to County Executive Jimmy Haley. With this increase, recycling tires with the current company will not be cost-efficient. Haley suggested moving tires by railroad to a company out of Nashville since there is already a railroad spur at the location on Belmont Drive.

“We were in discussion with a new tire recycling company out of Nashville which has asked us the possibility of instead of transporting by tractor trailer if we could transport by rail,” said Haley. “We have a spur right there on the property and so we could cut costs and maximize efficiency of loading a whole rail cart full of tires and shipping them maybe once a month rather than once a week in a tractor trailer rig. We could also expand our recycling allowing more commercial businesses and charge more in order to load that railroad car and get to this new purchaser of tires.”

Haley was told to submit the information and the company would further look into it. He also said this would be beneficial to the other counties that are a part of the Tri County Railroad Authority: Coffee County and White County. Haley says something needs to be done because the county will not continue to recycle tires if they continue to lose money. 

“Our current Liberty Tire as of next month, and I’m sure the same for Coffee County, is increasing their cost by 40%. What we are charging for tires to recycle now we are going to be going in the hole,” said Haley. “We are not going to operate recycling if we are going in the hole with tires so we are trying to expand those operations and be a little more efficient and getting another market for our product and we will be able to, I think, cut some costs by doing that.”

Tri County Railroad Authority vice chair Winston Brooks suggested taking the tires to a new company coming into Tullahoma.

“Are you familiar with the little UTC Aerospace building in Tullahoma? There is a company coming there and I am pretty sure they take tires and turn them into rubberized pellets,” said Brooks. “I think these guys wouldn’t even charge us to take the tires. We just have to pay for the freight and everything to get them there.”

Brooks said he believes this company uses the rubberized pellets to repair roads and potholes and maybe even pave roads with it. Haley said anything is an option. No decision was made at the meeting.