Governor recognizes Carlton County for going green

By KBJR News 1

October 31, 2012 Updated Oct 31, 2012 at 7:01 PM CDT

The Carlton County Board of Commissioners has received a certificate of recognition from Governor Mark Dayton for demonstrating the ability to save money and create a frost-free county road 19.

Wayne Olson, county highway engineer, presented the certificate at the Oct. 23 county board meeting.

The county’s successful experience with tire shreds goes back several years, according to Carlton County Board Chair Ted Pihlman.

“Tires can be used for beneficial purposes,” Pihlman said. “It’s an ideal purpose for shredded tires to make roads safer and easier to maintain.”
The use of tire shreds is encouraged by the US Environmental Protection Agency and approved for use by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

The tire shreds came from First State Tire Recycling, the manufacturer of Green Aggregate Fill, located in Isanti, MN. Monte Niemi, First State Tire Recycling’s CEO, explained why local, state and federal public officials are interested in Carlton County’s experience.

Niemi estimates a government agency can save 50 percent or more by using Green Aggregate Fill instead of virgin fill materials.

Green Aggregate Fill often can be used in place of other products, like three- and four-inch crushed rock, wood chips or geo foam. It is used in a wide variety of civil engineering situations to correct soft soils, aid in drainage, control water runoff, reduce weight, provide insulation, or increase shear strength, according to Niemi.

Tire-derived aggregate can be found in road beds, around building foundations, in septic systems, under parking lots, in rain gardens, and many other places invisible to the eye, Niemi said.

Since the 1980s, First State Tire Recycling has processed more than 30 million recycled tires and used them in about 160 civil engineering projects. One-hundred percent of each tire is reused, making it a zero waste process. In the case of county road 19, no virgin petroleum products were used to fix the road’s frost issue.

“It’s great that Governor Dayton is recognizing Carlton County for our public/private partnership that embraces green technology, makes us better stewards of the environment and creates Minnesota jobs,” Niemi said.