In the next six months residents may begin to notice a decrease in the mountain of tires piled across the island as a new facility has opened to shred them to pieces. If you drive by a tire shop you may notice piles of tires stacked high – that’s because until recently Guam did not have a viable means of getting rid of them until now.
Bob Perron is the president and general manager of Guahan Waste Control’s tire shredding facility, and told KUAM News, “We received our permit in December and we’ve started processing tires pretty much full time I would say towards the middle of January that’s when we started really bringing them in and processing them in bulk. Since the opening of this tire shredding facility they have shredded over 10,000 tires that means in each day; 1,000 or more are shredded here and off our island’s streets.”
So how does the process work?
“What we do is we work primarily with the tire shops and they’ll contract with us to pick up their tires bring them here and we will process them shred them and either find a local use which some are going now which is the Ordot Dump project, but when that’s not available we will be shipping them off for use in waste-to-energy facilities or cement kilns or for further processing into processing into smaller pieces of rubber like crumb rubber,” he explained.
Island residents with used tires can also avail themselves of this service by bringing used tires to the Guahan Waste Control main facility. The tires are cut down here on island so that they can be used locally which is the best option. Perron says that profit wise shipping them off island isn’t even enough to cover shipping costs, noting, “In the past it has always been a problem of getting rid of tires because the overseas market occasionally would take bailed tires which is how they were disposed of in the past where a company would just bail them and send them off but the market for that is hit and miss sometimes there is a market in Korea or Japan but other times there is nobody accepting them so that’s when the tires really pile up here,” he said.
Each tire is shredded down to 2″ or less, turning them into a commodity that has a number of uses. “The shredded tires can be used for bedding pipes can be used for filtration in like in the leaching field sort of thing so you can use it in place of gravel or rock type filtering,” he said.
At the rate the facility is going, Perron anticipates reducing the numbers of discarded tires within six months bringing it down to a manageable number.