Road paving in Athens could be more environmentally friendly if the city receives a state grant allowing it to repair its roads with scrap tire modified asphalt.
The $75,000 Ohio Department of Natural Resources, Division of Recycling and Litter Prevention grant would provide funding to purchase asphalt modified with scrap tire, said Athens City Councilwoman Chris Knisely, D-at Large.
"(The city must match the grant one-for-one, which) means if we get (the grant), we need to verify for the state that we will, in turn, also be spending that much for the paving," Knisely said.
The grant will allow the city to order the modified asphalt from Seneca Petroleum Co, Inc., in Toledo, Ohio, which binds the tires with regular tar, which extends the amount of useable asphalt, Knisely said.
"(This process) allows us to extend paving and do more repairs on the road," Knisely said.
Modified asphalt is also more resilient and durable under heavier traffic, said Andy Stone, Director of Engineering and Public Works.
City officials should know before July whether Athens receives the grant, Knisely said.
Annual city paving, when this new asphalt would be used, takes place throughout summer and typically costs about $250,000, she added.
Although using scrap tires in asphalt would be more environmentally friendly, it would cost the city about 10 percent more per unit cost, Stone said.
He added that city would probably break even on the expenses associated with the scrap tire project.
City officials want to begin this project as a way to recycle because scrap tires are a wasted resource and recycling them is more productive than throwing them away, Stone said.
"The city of Athens believes in the importance of recycling," Knisely said.