The crumb rubber market continues to be strong in Kentucky. Since 2005, the Commonwealth has awarded 215 grants totaling $5.8 million, primarily to schools and municipalities for crumb rubber uses. Use of crumb rubber and mulch has increased from near zero in 1998 to 700,000 tires per year currently.
In addition to the grants, Martin Tire in western Kentucky manufacturers a large quantity of colored mulch for outlets such as Lowes, Home Depot and Wal-Mart. Martin Tire processes over 1.6 million tires per year, some of which comes from out of state. King Tire in McCreary County produces playground mulch from approximately 170,000 tires per year.
Kentucky schools, city and county governments, public parks and state agencies interested in using crumb rubber as a top dressing on grass fields and as mulch in playground areas may apply for a grant.