Recycling Office Supplies
Authority employees practice recycling at all levels within the organization. Executive Order No. 142 requires New York State agencies and authorities to complete an annual report on waste reduction, recycling and procurement initiatives for recycling purposes. On average, the Authority recycles 2,500 to 3,000 tons of material annually. This material includes paper, cardboard, glass, returnable containers, plastic, batteries, metal, tires, motor oil, yard waste, and office equipment. Moreover, the Authority spends thousands of dollars on products made with recycled materials, including paper, tissues, plastic materials, re-manufactured office equipment, and recycled motor oils. The Save That Office Paper (STOP), program is an excellent example of how Authority/Corporation employees recycle on a daily basis by encouraging employees to utilize the recycling receptacles in offices and lobbies.
Recycled Tire Noise Barrier Pilot
The Thruway Authority, as part of its Interchange 23 to 24 Reconstruction project, will be piloting the installation of a noise barrier system made from recycled scrap rubber tires. Located at approximately milepost 146.2 Northbound, the barrier prototype will be 80' long and will utilize the absorption properties inherent within the rubber polymeric material. The effectiveness of noise absorption is currently being evaluated by the manufacturer.
This 'green' product will make use of approximately 75 scrap rubber tires per panel - 375 tires for a 15ft tall x 8ft wide wall section.
The forgiving and flexible properties of the material help to prevent any cracking, movement, or deterioration due to ground vibration or movement and provide excellent weather durability due to the rubber polymer. According to the manufacturer, the rubber panels offer a virtually indefinite lifetime in outside exposure, and experience no impact due to hot or cold temperatures, freeze and thaw, or precipitation.
According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), New York State generates approximately 15-20 million waste tires annually. Additionally, there are estimated to be more than nine million waste tires already stockpiled across the State. These stockpiled tires cause major environmental problems related to storage and disposal and must be cleaned-up. In accordance with the NYS Waste Tire Management Act of 2003, DEC is developing a program to enhance and develop “environmentally compatible and economically-sustainable markets for waste tires.” The Authority/Corporation is part of the interagency group working to implement the Waste Tire Management Act of 2003. The Authority is planning to incorporate recycled tires in some of its upcoming pavement projects involving highway pavement resurfacing, keeping tens of thousands of tires out of the waste stream. In addition, the Canal Corporation is incorporating recycled tires into future Canalway Trail projects.
In Buffalo, during the reconstruction and widening project between Interchanges 53 and 54 along I-90, a section of the fill for the westbound fourth lane widening was constructed with shredded waste tires. The 200 feet long, 10 feet high tire slope was designed in a partnership with the NYSDOT Geotechnical Engineering Bureau and is estimated to have used nearly 100,000 tires. The photo to the left illustrates the first lift of the tire shred fill, which is then compacted. Tire shred fill is designed to be a lightweight fill and has the added benefit of recycling a waste material.
The NYSTA is partnering with the NYSDOT in the reconstruction of Interchange 17 to construct a direct connection between Interstate 87 and Interstate 84. This project will also provide for relocation of portion of parking lots and internal roadways, which will involve the use of 400,000 recycled tires for backfill along the roadway. (See the discussion under Energy for more information on the other environmental components of this project.)
For more information view DEC’s waste tire program.
Travel Plaza Recycling Containers
The New York State Thruway Authority, as part of its continuing commitment to environmental stewardship, has implemented a public recycling program at each of its 27 Travel Plazas across the State. Marked recycling containers, made from 100 percent recycled plastic, are placed outside the main entrance of each of the Authority’s Travel Plazas. The recycling bins allow travelers to help the environment by recycling glass, plastic, newspapers and aluminum containers.