tire What's the problem?

Universal Purifying Technology, a California company, wants to turn the former Columbus trash-burning power plant on Jackson Pike into a giant facility to melt tires.
The company would wash and dry scrap tires, shred tire chips, and melt tires into scrap steel, synthesis gas, oils, and carbon black. The plant would process 8,333 pounds of tires an hour, 24 hours a day.


The Franklin County Solid Waste Authority and the Ohio EPA have tried to grant a permit quietly to avoid a public outcry. The community, however, has many questions about the safety of this proposed facility.

In the 1980s and 1990s, several U.S. companies -- including Startech in Sycamore, Ohio, south of Tiffin -- experimented with tire-melting facilities, but the businesses failed. This is an attempt to revive this process, called "pyrolysis". Do we want to be the guinea pigs?
  • Although tire-melting is not currently being done in the United States, there are many tire-burning facilities. Tire burners are a top source of the synthetic hormone dioxin, the most toxic human-made chemicals, affecting almost every organ of our bodies, attacking the immune system, causing learning and developmental disabilities, and cancer. One dose of dioxin can harm the next seven generations of a family.

  • All components necessary for the creation of dioxins, including oxygen, chlorine and the right temperature, will be at this facility. Defenders of the tire-melting technology claim that it is different from incineration and that it will not generate hight toxic emissions, including dioxins. Can they prove it? Is this claim purposefully misleading to avoid stringent rules and control equipment?


The U.S. Department of Energy says tire-melting (pyrolysis) is "not economically viable". The products of pyrolysis have limited marketability due to low quality. What should make us think this company can do any better?

Is the City of Columbus venturing into a situation that will hurt our quality of life, increase pollution for our area, and put an extra burden on taxpayers?

We need answers

  • If this facility is allowed to open, what contaminants would be in the gaseous emissions, the oil and the soot?

  • Where would the heavy metals from radial tires go?

  • What about the formation of dioxins? How did the Ohio EPA determine that the dioxins were not going to be formed? Where are the emission data that tested for dioxins to prove this claim?


For more information, call or email Simona Vaclavikova, Ohio Citizen Action, (614) 263-4111.