This paper presents the results of a field and laboratory study performed to assess damage to the geomembrane liner caused by using shredded scrap tires as a leachate drainage layer material in landfills. The field testing was performed to assess the damage that occurred to the geomembrane liner during construction and included nine tests conducted with different combinations of tire chip size and thickness, both with a geotextile and without a geotextile overlying the geomembrane, and under different loading conditions. The laboratory testing was performed to characterize the shredded tires, particularly their size distribution, hydraulic conductivity, compressibility, and chemical resistance. The laboratory testing also included performing simulation testing to determine the extent of damage that occurs to the geomembrane liner by the shredded tires under long-term waste-loading conditions. The damage that occurred to the geomembrane liners in both field tests and simulated laboratory tests was determined by visual observations as well as by conducting multi-axial tension tests, wide strip tension tests, and water vapor transmission tests on the exhumed geomembrane samples. Based on these results, a 0.46-m (18-in.)-thick layer of secondary shred tire chips, with an average size of 7.6 cm, placed over a 543-g/m2 (16-oz/yd2) geotextile installed over a geomembrane liner using low-ground-pressure (<58 kPa) equipment was determined to provide adequate protection to the geomembrane liner during construction. The degree of protection offered under long-term loading conditions depends on the normal stress and the random orientation of the shredded tire chips at the geomembrane interface.
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