Treating plants used to burn them for the steam required to treat the ties with creosote in the first place.
Ties that were too far gone to reuse were often just dumped along the ROW. Now some tie suppliers actually broker the
collection and disposal or recycling of the used ties. I would assume it would be most economical to return used ties
in the same cars that deliver the replacements. Anyway, the ties now have a viable market value. They are chipped or
shreaded and sold as fuel, and despite the creosote they are said to burn hotter and cleaner than regular wood. Ties
can also be reused by chipping and compositing the solid wood fibers with plastic, rubber or resins.
There's just one thing I'll guarantee, the best things in life they sure AIN'T free.......
Weird Al Yankovic.