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Putting a Bounce Into Western Avenue


Ten thousand used tires will be used to help resurface Western Avenue next week as part of a project that makes sense both environmentally and economically, city officials said.

There are literally mountains of tires available for such projects. Each year, California must contend with about 32.5 million used tires. There are few places to dispose of them other than landfills or massive stockpiles that pose fire and contamination hazards.

The California Integrated Waste Management Board began promoting rubberized asphalt several years ago in an effort to find use for old tires. City officials here liked the idea of finding an alternative use.

Besides using the recycled tires, the old street pavement that is ripped up will also be recycled, said Mark Lloyd, Stanton's community-development director.

Using the old tires has other potential benefits, according to industry experts: pavement that's quieter, longer-lasting and, perhaps, cheaper.

Rubberized asphalt is more flexible, meaning trucks don't rattle on them as heavily as on other roads. Rubberized roads are often less thick than others and thereby save money. In some cases, rubberized asphalt eliminates the need for ripping up a street surface before applying a new surface. Traditional resurfacing over cracks just produces more cracks, but the rubberized asphalt has more give, and cracks don't come through to the surface, said Robert Schwartz, technical-services manager for All American Asphalt. All American will lay Western Avenue's new surface.

"We're taking a waste product and converting it into a better-performing pavement," Schwartz said.

The rubberized asphalt uses about 30 pounds of pulverized tires per ton of asphalt and concrete, he said.

The technology for using the tires in pavement was developed in the mid-1960s by a city government engineer from Phoenix. As cities have realized rubberized asphalt's benefits, the demand has increased. Almost 10% of All American's business is now in rubberized asphalt.

The Western Avenue project is Stanton's second use of rubberized asphalt. The first project, in the southernmost part of the city, was completed about a month ago

An official from CR&R Inc., a waste-transfer and recycling facility on Western Avenue, which does not handle tires or used street pavement, is looking forward to the new road. CR&R vice president Paul Relis served on the waste-management board until two years ago and helped push the city to take on the project.

He not only likes the idea of recycling the old tires but said a reduction in noise will also be welcome. Many trucks drive down Western Avenue every day.

"It will be nice for the community," Relis said.

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