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What is the Independence Conservancy?

We are a 501c3 nonprofit environmental organization based in Industry, PA. We were established in 1999 as the Independence Marsh Foundation, and changed our name in 2007 to better reflect our mission as a land preservation organization. We restore and protect lands and waters in the Raccoon Creek Watershed and vicinity. Our tire shear is a key tool in our watershed cleanup efforts, and has been used to process over 51,000 tires at many events throughout Beaver, Allegheny, Washington and Lawrence Counties.

How does the tire shear work? Does it shred the tires?

No, it is a SHEAR, not a shredder. It works like a giant pair of scissors. We cut each tire into four pieces. We tuck the pieces together forming a small, compact stack of rubber which will not float to the surface in a landfill. If the tire is still on its rim, we use the machine to remove the rim which is destroyed in the process.

Do you have a video of the tire shear in action?

We certainly do! Watch here.

Is the tire shear loud?

About as loud as a riding lawn mower.

Does it throw pieces out of a chute?

No, nothing is thrown or blown. There is no chute. Each tire piece is handled by a volunteer. Volunteers stack the cut tires neatly into the back of the host municipality's dump truck.

Is it dangerous?

No. everyone who works with the shear is provided with safety training and appropriate safety gear. The public is not permitted near the shear while the crew is operating it. The machine and crew are insured by the Independence Conservancy.

Where is Imperial Landfill?

Near the old Pittsburgh Airport on Boggs Road in Findlay Township, Allegheny County. Each truck driver will be given a map with directions to Imperial Landfill, along with a shipping manifest for each load of cut tires. 

Will the IC take away the rims?

Yes. We haul away the rims and recycle the various metals.

How many tires will a dump truck hold?

With careful packing, a three ton dump can hold about 250 tires; a ten ton dump can hold about 600. We do not pack above the side boards. PA DEP requires all trucks to be tarped before entering the landfill. Drivers and passengers must wear fluorescent vests or shirts and hard hats.

Do we have to haul the cut tires to the landfill right away?

No. The best time to go is Monday after 1 PM when there is less traffic at the scales. On Saturdays, you must be on the scales by 11:30 AM.

Does the Independence Conservancy expect its volunteers to be allowed to operate municipal trucks or equipment? 

Absolutely not. Under no circumstances will the IC ask or expect to be allowed to operate any municipal equipment. This is why we request that a municipal official or employee be present in case something needs to be moved. We prefer to have the end gate of the dump truck we are loading lowered to make it easier to pass the tire pieces inside and for volunteers to climb in and out. With larger trucks, a machine may be needed to close the end gate when we are finished packing.

Is there a big mess left over?

No. Our volunteers clean up everything. We sweep up the debris and will hose down the area if water is available. We are careful about not tracking mud into our hosts' buildings. We strive to run a clean, safe, orderly operation.

Is it okay to let people bring tires before the collection day?

Please do not do this! Do not encourage people to bring tires to the collection site before the morning of the event. Some people will take advantage of the situation and dump tires without paying for their disposal. Even if they do pay in advance, a stack of unattended tires will grow rapidly. The IC cannot and will not process tires that are dumped at the site before the collection and not paid for.

How often does the Independence Conservancy hold these collections?

We offer several Saturdays each spring and fall on a first come, first served basis. Please reserve your date as early as possible, since some collections are scheduled a year in advance.

Do the residents have to unload their own tires?

No, our volunteers help the people unload their vehicles. There is no need for the driver to leave his or her car.

Do you accept checks from residents?

Yes, we will accept checks with proper identification.

Do you take credit cards?


Can you help us with publicity?

Absolutely! We will provide your municipality with electronic files for information you can send to your residents. If you have a newsletter or website, we will give you the text to cut and paste into your document or website. Please do not re-word the text we give you. The best way to get your residents to participate is a written letter from the municipality.