VIDEO: Guahan Waste Control Buys Tire Shredder; Should Help Resolve Guam’s Growing Waste Tire Problem

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Guam- Mountains of tires may soon be a thing of the past when a CM dual-speed tire shredder arrives on Guam. The top of the line equipment was recently purchased by Guahan Waste Control Inc. and should arrive by the end of the year or January 2014.

GWC President Bob Perron says they invested in the shredder to take care of a constant concern with scrap tires being stockpiled.

“We just wanted to take care of this reoccurring problem we have here with tires…because at times, tires can be shipped off-island,” said Perron. “There are markets that will occasionally accept baled tires. But it seems to be more and more infrequent that you can get these tires off-island.”

Perron mentions tires piling up can cause a number of health issues and the company figured it was time to step up. He says their goal is to shred tires into clean cut two inch squares, also known as “two inch minus” or tire-derived-fuel (TDF). He explains they plan to sell it to countries that use this type of fuel, such as Japan or Korea.

“They burn it in cement kelms or they burn it in waste to energy facilities,” said Perron. “So you want the real clean cut so it doesn’t clump together, pieces don’t stick together or the wires get tangled.”

Perron says the squares can be used as a protective layer in landfills.

He also says when the machine is operational in early 2014, it can process passenger and truck tires at an efficient rate. He notes the processing rate of the shredder may be overkill for Guam, but they may look at bringing in scrap tires from the other islands to expand their regional capacity.

“It’ll do 1,200 tires an hour, passenger tires, or three of four hundred truck tires,” said Perron. “So it really will process volumes.”

T.A. Enterprises Inc. President Thomas Hertslet is a longtime tire business expert. He says bringing in the tire shredder was his idea and he wanted to get all of the tire industry leaders together on the project so it can be shared equally. But he mentions since one company seems to monopolize on the machine, he is talking with Senator Tom Ada to draft legislation to protect the public from higher rates.

He says he is requesting that optional disposal fees for tires become mandatory fees. That way, if a monopolizing company needs a reason for a price increase, they have to go through the Public Utilities Commission (PUC). He also requested initial prices be valid for at least a year and if there is a price change, that it be done on an annual basis.

“Therefore that would protect the people and we couldn’t be robbed so to speak,” said Hertslet.

Meanwhile, Hertslet says the mountain of tires behind the Triple J Commercial Tire Facility in Tamuning is also being worked on. In the last 3 months, they have loaded five 40 foot containers with five to six hundred tires each. The tires are being sprayed regularly to prevent mosquitoes from breeding.

“Right now Triple J is removing tires,” said Hertslet. “Those waste tires are going out through Japan. I feel only sorry for our iguanas. Before now, their home is gone.”

In the meantime, Perron looks forward to getting the CM tire shredder and says it feels natural for GWC to move further into the recycling arena since they are also involved in the single stream recycling system on Guam.

“It’s kind of a natural fit to look at the tires, which is also a solid waste,” said Perron. “And we can make it into a commodity when we process it here and then recycle it as fuel. So it kind of fits into our game plan as a company and our commitment to the environment.”