Rubber Makes the Road 002
In 2004, the DEP created a grant to encourage innovative techniques to make beneficial use of the millions of tires piled across the state. Penn State's Center for Dirt and Gravel Road Studies came up with the perfect solution: Use them as fill for severely eroded and entrenched rural roads.
Kevin Abbey, director of the Center, first proposed a plan to shred the tires into usable material. However, the method proved too tedious, and so in early 2006, Penn State readjusted its proposal to use tire bales.
A hydraulic compressor (similar to a trash compactor) was employed to bale the tires into one-ton building blocks, bound together with nine-gauge wire. Each block contains 100 tires and measures 30 inches high by four feet by five feet.