L & S Tire Company manufactures the Enviro-Block, a tire bale made of compressed, whole waste vehicle tires banded together with steel wire, that can be used for construction and other products. A tire bale consists of about 100 passenger tires interwoven and compressed into a 2-cubic yard, 1-ton block. The bale is typically 2.5' x 2.5' x 5' with volume reduction at 5:1.
Based on U.S. averages, about 6.3 million scrap tires are stockpiled in Washington State, and almost 6 million more scrap tires are generated each year. Fewer markets for these waste tires have been available in recent years. Tire stockpiles are dangerous as fire hazards and as breeding grounds for disease-carrying insects. Tire bales are a safe, productive use for potentially large quantities of scrap tires. The DOT number is 199488.
Enviro-Block tire bales have been used for a wide variety of projects, such as erosion control, lightweight road fill, impact barriers, sound barriers, terraces, mud slide control, retaining walls, shoreline erosion, grain storage, slope stabilization, levee core material, insulators, flood control, stream crossings, earthen dams, culvert crossings and leachate systems.
Enviro-Block tire bales:
Are up to one-half the weight of conventional materials used in road construction, such as sand and gravel;
Are ideal for wet areas or where high water tables exist since they are very permeable providing excellent drainage;
Cost less than sand, clay, soil, aggregate or rip rap per ton or per cubic yard;
Have a large load bearing capacity;
Act as an insulate, protecting the road sub-base from frost; and
Are easy to install using a forklift or an excavator.
Over the last decade, more states have studied the engineering specifications for tire bales in different applications. New York, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Texas and Colorado led the way. Below, a few of their stories..........
Chautauqua County, New York's Department of Public Facilities, led the way. Their response came in the aftermath of a tire fire. They baled the unburned tires that remained and used the bales in the late 1990s and early 2000s for sub grade lightweight fill for road construction throughout the county. In each project, roadbed material in the existing road was excavated. Filter fabric underlayment was installed, tires bales were placed over the fabric as sub grade and granular material was used to fill voids. The final road surface consisted of 18 inches of compacted gravel, covering the bales. The sites have been monitored and the County found the following benefits of using tire blocks as lightweight fill over marginal soils: (1) thermal insulation and frost penetration, (2) better drainage, (3) lower cost than conventional fill, (4) less installation labor since the blocks were already compacted, and (5) less settling over time.
The Fort Worth District of the Texas Department of Transportation, in a geotechnical investigation and analyses of a slope failure repair using baled tires on Interstate Highway 30, west of Oakland Boulevard in Fort Worth, Tarrant County Texas found that the use of baled tires as partial replacement for fill soils used in slope repair projects appears to provide a significant improvement to long term stability while simultaneously providing for the beneficial reuse of waste tires. Specifically, they found that a considerable improvement was shown in long term repaired slope stability where baled tires are substituted for soil back fill in areas where high plasticity clays are predominant. They concluded that baled tires used as partial replacement for fill soils should be considered whenever economically practicable.
The Starr Tire Pile is Pennsylvania's largest tire pile with over 8 million tires. The Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies with Penn State, inspired by the success of New York's program, studied the benefits of using baled tires in severely entrenched dirt and gravel roads. Most dirt roads are located next to streams, making them the largest source of sedimentary pollution. When rainwater collects and travels in concentrated volumes, unstable soil from banks and ditches accumulates and descends into streams. Diehl Road was chosen due to its proximity to the Starr Tire Pile. 200,000 tires were used in the project. The project was so successful, the Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies completed another project on Pattonhill Grouse Road in December of 2006.
L & S Tire Company has provided Enviro-Blocks for the construction of private drives in agricultural areas in and around Spokane, Washington, with wet soil and high water tables. The drives were all located in agricultural areas where substantial amounts of road fill would be required to provide stability. Placing tires two-high in an area that was six inches above the water table in mid-summer raised one driveway near Highway 2 in Pend Oreille County several feet above the water table.
Driveway prior to project.