Beneficial use of shredded tires as drainage material in cover systems for abandoned Landfills

Krishna R. Reddy, Timothy D. Stark, Aravind Marella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Over 280 million tires are discarded each year and over 4 billion tires are stockpiled at numerous locations in the United States. The stockpiled tires represent a public health hazard, an aesthetic nuisance, and waste of a valuable resource. Recently, attention has been given to the use of scrap tires for civil engineering applications such as highway embankments, retaining structures, and lightweight fill material. This paper presents the results of a research study performed to assess the feasibility of using shredded scrap tires as a drainage material in cover systems for abandoned landfills. The research study included extensive laboratory testing and field demonstration at an abandoned landfill in Carlinville, Ill. Laboratory testing was conducted using tire shreds to determine the following: (1) potential for clogging when used in the cover systems; (2) long-term transmissivity when used in cover systems; and (3) interface shear strengths with various other cover materials. Slope stability analyses were performed to determine the stability of final covers incorporating shredded tires as drainage layers. A field demonstration was performed to determine the constructability and assess the performance of tire shreds as a drainage material in the landfill final cover as compared to that of a conventional drainage layer consisting of sand. Overall, the results showed that shredded tires possess the required characteristics and perform well as drainage material. Using shredded tires as a drainage material is a practical solution to scrap tire disposal problems and also for constructing cost-effective final covers for abandoned landfills.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number003001QHZ
Pages (from-to)47-60
Number of pages14
JournalPractice Periodical of Hazardous, Toxic, and Radioactive Waste Management
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010


  • Clogging
  • Drainage layer
  • Field demonstration
  • Interface strength
  • Landfill cover
  • Slope stability
  • Transmissivity
  • Waste tires

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Geotechnical Engineering and Engineering Geology


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