by Krystal Paco
Guam - For the last year, used tires have literally piled high throughout the island. Some sites with over 4,000 tires towering over two stories high, but that won't be the case for long as one company is putting an end to the island's tiring problem.
They're eyesores, they're a public health concern, and they're a fire hazard. But finally, following a year of piling up, the island's used tires will be shredded and shipped off-island thanks to Guahan Waste Control Inc., better known as Mr. Rubbishman.
"Tires are a problem everywhere. There's really not a real good market for it as far as financially. What we're looking at is just having the ability to get tires off island because right now tires just seem to pile up on island because we have trouble getting the distant markets to take them in the bailed form, so what the markets are looking for is a little further processing on the tires," said Rob Perron.
As company president, Perron tells KUAM it was only natural for the company to cater to the new market. After all, they have the facilities and manpower - all they need now is the equipment - what Perron says has been ordered and expected to arrive in January.
"What we're going to be doing is taking it down to a two-inch minus chip just a little piece that kind of resembles a piece of coal that kind of size and it'll be used as a coal substitute in waste-to-energy facilities and cement kilns and things like that so it becomes a usable commodity once you've gone ahead and processed it down to a two-inch minus," he said.
But getting your used tires shredded won't come for free. Perron tells KUAM the program still requires a subsidy to cover shipping expenses that he estimates could run $120 per ton.
"It still needs a subsidy from the tire shops. They'll still have to pay a fee to dispose of their tires you can get on the distant end in the market place, say Japan, won't even cover the cost of shipping the tires," he said.
Following the greenlight on permitting from the Guam Environmental Protection Agency, shredding may begin as early as February.
"So that should help alleviate the problem of tires stacking up and markets not wanting to accept them in bailed form so that's what we're looking for. We're excited to get started in processing them and getting them off island," he said.