Scrap Tire Projects

Scrap Tire Playgrounds

Scrap tire playgrounds serve as a recreational resource for communities and a viable use for scrap tires. At the same time, the playgrounds help to educate people about scrap tires and increase awareness of the efforts put forth by the Maryland Department of the Environment (the Department) to remediate the scrap tire problem.

The scrap tire playground projects are a cooperative effort among the Department, Maryland Environmental Service (MES), and Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The playgrounds are located at several State parks throughout Maryland. The first playground opened in April of 1994, and the newest was constructed in October of 2002.

For more information about the playgrounds, visit: Tire Playgrounds​

Scrap Tire Citizen Drop-off Day

Keep an eye out for Scrap Tire Citizen Drop-off Day (formerly called Amnesty Day) in your county! The Scrap Tire Drop-off Days are extremely successful and have received a positive response from county residents. During this one-day event, county residents are permitted to deliver up to 10 scrap tires per vehicle free of charge to approved collection facilities. MDE, MES and participating counties conduct this event periodically.

Because of the strong level of participation by residents, several counties actually exceed the predicted amount of tires collected. As part of this project, residents are given information regarding Maryland's laws and regulations governing the collection and disposal of scrap tires. It is hoped that such public education will deter residents from accumulating scrap tires in the future.

Agricultural Scrap Tire Drop-off Day

The Department, in conjunction with MES and the Maryland Farm Bureau, Inc., has hosted several Scrap Tire Drop-Off Day events which allowed farmers to deliver agricultural scrap tires to approved collection locations free of charge. These events have been extremely popular and successful.

Landfill Construction

Scrap tires are being used in a variety of applications in the construction of new landfill liners and landfill closure caps. Scrap tire chips have been used as a drainage layer material in both bottom liners and closure caps. These landfill projects have already proven to produce multiple benefits. For example, large quantities of scrap tire chips were utilized in the process of building these landfill layers and use of the scrap tire chips helps to defray costs to the Counties.

Sound Barrier

The Department, in conjunction with MES and the State Highway Administration, has built a sound wall barrier that incorporates scrap tire chips into the construction of the barrier. The barrier is located on Interstate 95 near Interstate 195 in the Arbutus/Halethorpe area of Baltimore County. The scrap tire rubber gives an absorptive surface to the sound barrier. A long term noise monitoring program will document the effectiveness of this structure.

State School Playgrounds

Because of the great success of scrap tire playgrounds in Maryland State parks, the Department, MES, and the State Department of Education have partnered to construct and/or renovate playground facilities at various Maryland public schools utilizing scrap tires. An average of ten playground facility projects using recycled tires and scrap tire derived materials are initiated annually to improve these public school facilities and to educate students and the public on the usefulness of this type of recycling technology.

Equestrian Arenas and Stalls

Crumb rubber and tire chips derived from scrap tires are being used to provide footing materials required for an equestrian competition arena, two dressage arenas and repairs to the cross-country turf grass at the Fair Hill Equestrian Park. The project provides a beneficial use for a significant quantity of Maryland scrap tires, and may aid the Baltimore-Washington regional committee in pursuing a bid for the 2012 Olympic Games.

In 2003, permanent rubber matting was installed in the Horse Show Ring Area barns available for use by public groups during equestrian competitions and events at the Maryland State Fairgrounds. The mats were manufactured from 13,840 scrap tires.  The benefits of using rubber stall mats include lower maintenance costs versus other types of stall flooring and better hoof health as well as less hoof wear for the animal. 

Scrap Tire Fire Prevention and Firefighting Training Seminar

MDE, in conjunction with the Maryland Fire and Rescue Institute, hosted the seminar in 2003.  The training educated attendees on prevention actions, pre-incident planning, tire fire impacts to the environment and business, funding available for the fire departments, and an overview of the Maryland Scrap Tire Program.  A fire chief from Roanoke, Virginia also spoke about his experience, response taken, and lessons learned from a tire fire that consumed approximately 3 million tires in that State.

Public Education Campaign

In 2015, the Scrap Tire Unit gave a training presentation to the Prince George's County Fire Safety Board and other Prince George's County personnel regarding Maryland's scrap tire laws, regulations, and compliance/enforcement efforts.

For more information on the Department's Scrap Tire Program, please call 410-537-3314.​

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