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Service Area Recycling Containers

Service Area Recycling Containers ImageAs part of the Authority's commitment to environmental stewardship, a public recycling program has been in place at each of its 27 service areas across the State. Marked recycling containers provide an opportunity for  travelers to help the environment by recycling. Redevelopment of the Authority’s 27 service areas is underway, and upon completion each service area will have recycling programs for both the Operator and customers for glass, aluminum, paper and plastic, at a minimum. Receptacles will be placed both inside and outside the service area food facility building for customer use.  For more information on the redevelopment project and schedule, please visit

Recycled Tire Noise Barrier Pilot

Rendering of recycled tire noise barriersAs part  of the Thruway Authority's (Authority) Interchange  23 to 24 Reconstruction Project, the Authority piloted the installation of a noise barrier system made from recycled scrap rubber tires. The barrier prototype, located at milepost 146.2 northbound, utilizes the absorption properties inherent within the rubber polymeric material.

Overall, approximately 375 scrap tires were used to construct  a 15' tall x 80' wide wall. The forgiving and flexible properties of the material help to prevent  cracking, movement,  or deterioration of the wall due to ground vibration  or movement. The tires also provide excellent weather durability due to the rubber polymer. The rubber panels offer an  indefinite  lifetime in outside  exposure, and experience no impact due to hot or cold temperatures, freeze and thaw, or precipitation. The effectiveness of noise absorption, however is currently being evaluated by the manufacturer.

Recycling Office Supplies

The Authority recycles approximately tons of material annually.  This material includes  paper, cardboard, glass,  returnable  containers,  plastic,  batteries, metal, tires, motor oil, yard waste, and office equipment. Recycling rechargeable, NiCad, and various other  non-alkaline  batteries, is accomplished through a special program that returns batteries back to the vendors for recycling. Moreover, the Authority purchases products made with recycled materials, such as paper, tissues,  plastic  materials,  re­manufactured office equipment, and recycled motor oils. Authority employees are also encouraged to recycle daily  through the Save That Office Paper (STOP) Program, in which employees utilize recycling receptacles located in offices and lobbies.


According to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC), the State generates approximately 18-20 million waste tires annually. In accordance with the NYS Waste Tire Management Act of 2003, NYSDEC is developing a program to enhance and establish "environmentally compatible and economically-sustainable markets for waste tires." As such, the Authority has incorporated recycled tires into some of its highway pavement projects, keeping tens of thousands of tires out of the waste stream. Tire shred fill is designed to be a lightweight and has the added benefit of recycling a waste material.

Tires being used for fillTires being used for fillDuring the reconstruction and widening project between Interchanges 53 and 54 along I-90 in Buffalo, a section of fill for the westbound fourth lane widening was constructed with shredded waste tires. The 200' long, 10' high tire slope was designed in a partnership with the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Geotechnical Engineering Bureau and is estimated to have used nearly 100,000 tires.

Additionally, the Authority partnered with the NYSDOT for the Interchange 17 Reconstruction Project, which provided a direct connection between Interstate 87 and Interstate 84. This project relocated portions of parking lots and internal roadways, utilizing approximately 400,000 recycled tires, or 3815 metric tons of tire shred, for backfill along the roadway. (See the discussion under Energy for more information on the other environmental components of this project.)

For additional information on the NYS DEC's Waste Tire Program, please visit the NYS DEC’s website. Leaving NYS Thruway Authority's Website