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CALABASAS : Plan Aims to Turn Tires Into Asphalt

The city of Calabasas’ tire recycling efforts have reached a point where the rubber meets the road--in a manner of speaking.

The city has applied for a $13,750 state grant to cover the cost of converting 16,800 tires stored at the Calabasas Landfill into rubberized asphalt for use on local streets.

The money would go toward transporting the tires to a facility in Fontana, where they would be ground up and turned into asphalt, said Calabasas City Manager Charles Cate. The city would put up another $4,700, he said.

“It’s a complete, closed-loop recycling program,” he said.

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The Calabasas Landfill, in an unincorporated area near the city, receives about 2,500 tires a day, said William Gross, a site engineer at the landfill. Because state law prohibits landfills from burying tires whole, they are shredded into small pieces and then buried or recycled, he said.

People are finding new uses for used tires, partly to comply with a law requiring communities to significantly decrease the amount of trash going to landfills, said Susan Zalusky, recycling coordinator for Calabasas.

Tires can also be used for floor mats, artificial reefs, low-cost fencing and even highway retention walls, she said. In Modesto, a company called Oxford Energy Co. converts tires into fuel.

The Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts, which operate the Calabasas Landfill, recycle as much as 5% of the tires left at the facility, said spokesman Joe Howard. The rest are ground up and buried at the landfill.

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The city’s effort is part of a program to increase the number of tires that are recycled, city officials said. The city will hold a used tire roundup day April 22 to coincide with Earth Day on April 23.


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