King Tire Cleanup Begins

A massive cleanup is underway two months after the catastrophic fire at King Tire Recycling in Stearns, Ky. The owners of King Tire Recycling and the property owners have each informed the Kentucky Division of Waste Management (DWM) that they are not financially able to clean the site up. DWM has begun remediation of the site through the state’s Waste Tire Trust Fund Program, which provides funding for Kentucky’s waste tire amnesties and off site tire cleanups. DWM has contracted with Liberty Tire Recycling to remove waste tires that didn’t burn in the fire.

“The division estimates there were 66,000 whole tires on site,” said Tony Hatton, director of the Division of Waste Management. “Those tires will be taken to Louisville for processing, while 5,000-6,000 tons of shredded tires will likely be taken to a landfill.” Any shreds that are contaminated with dirt, debris or charred material are unusable and will go to the landfill for disposal, but the clean tire chips will be utilized at the landfill for engineering purposes.

Remediation of the site could possibly take up to a year. DWM will be working with King Tire Recycling and the property owners to develop a long term solution.

“The main priority of the division is to eliminate any public health or environmental risks,” said Len Peters, secretary of the Energy and Environment Cabinet. “No human or environmental risk is imminent.”