More Old Tires Put to New Uses; Scrap Tire Piles Receding

Industry Report Shows Continued Environmental Progress

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

Washington, DCJune 22, 2009 - Think those old tires you replaced get tossed into some landfill? Think again. Nearly 90 percent of tires that are replaced and thrown away every year are put to a new productive use. The reuse rate of scrap tires tops most recovered waste materials including glass bottles, paper and aluminum cans.

The ninth report on scrap tire markets issued by the Rubber Manufacturers Association since 1994 shows continued progress in scrap tire management practices across the nation resulting in significant reduction of scrap tire stockpiles and continued progress in putting waste tires to new uses.

“Scrap tire management in the U.S. is a huge environmental success story,” said Michael Blumenthal, RMA vice president. “Markets for scrap tires are growing and old piles of scrap tires are shrinking.”

In 2007, 89.3% percent of the scrap tires generated in the U.S. by weight were consumed in end-use markets. The total volume of scrap tires consumed in end-use markets in the U.S. reached approximately 4105.8 thousand tons of tires – the largest amount ever since RMA began tabulating scrap tire statistics.
RMA estimates that about 4595.7 thousand tons of tires were generated in the U.S. in 2007. By comparison, in 2005, about 82 percent of tires were consumed by weight. In 1990, only eleven percent of tires were consumed on a per tire basis.

The percentage of scrap tires consumed by markets increased 13.5 percent, while the volume of tires utilized increased by about 489.7 thousand tons. The market percentage is affected not only by the volume of scrap tires consumed but also by the volume of scrap tires generated. The scrap tire generation rate has steadily increased along with the population in the United States, which tempers the increase in market percentage. This has been a consistent trend since RMA began to chronicle scrap tire markets in 1990.

Scrap tires were consumed by a variety of scrap tire markets, including tire-derived fuel, civil engineering and ground rubber applications. Other smaller markets and legal landfilling consume the remaining annually-generated tires, which indicates that new stockpile production should be negligible.

Key Scrap Tire Markets:

Tire-Derived Fuel (TDF) – Scrap tires are used as a cleaner and more economical alternative to coal as fuel in cement kilns, pulp and paper mills and industrial and utility boilers. TDF accounted for about 2484.4 thousand tons of scrap tires in the U.S. in 2007, or about 54 percent of the total scrap tires generated. Due to increasing fuel prices and improvements in the quality and reliable delivery of TDF, this market is anticipated to experience strong demand for the next two years

Ground Rubber – This market consumed 789.1 thousand tons of scrap tires, or about 17 percent of the volume of scrap tires generated. Ground rubber applications include new rubber products, playground and other sports surfacing and rubber-modified asphalt. The sports surfacing market remained the most dynamic segment in the ground rubber market during this period. The ground rubber market is expected to experience modest growth in the next two years.

Civil Engineering – This market consumed 561.6 thousand tons of tires in 2007, about 12 percent of the total tires to market and consisted of tire shreds used in road and landfill construction, septic tank leach fields and other construction applications. Tires add beneficial properties in these applications, such as vibration and sound control, lightweight fill to prevent erosion and landslides and facilitate drainage in leachate systems. This market experienced a continued decrease since from its peak in 2003, due to competition from TDF markets.
At the end of 2007, about 128 million scrap tires remained in stockpiles in the United States, a reduction of over 87 percent since 1990.

“The success of cleaning scrap tires is due to state efforts to abate stockpiled tires, develop sustainable scrap tire markets and enforce existing scrap tire laws and regulations,” Blumenthal said.

The remaining stockpiles are concentrated in seven states: Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York and Texas. These states contain over 85 percent of the scrap tires remaining in stockpiles. Of these states, Alabama, Michigan and New York have ongoing abatement programs. Texas completed an abatement effort in 2007. RMA continues to work with legislators and regulators in these states to develop and implement effective scrap tire programs to address these stockpiles.

The RMA publication, “Scrap Tire Markets in the U.S.; 9th Biennial Report,” is available free for download at www.rma.org.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include more than 80 companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products.

Millions of Drivers Wasting Gas, Risking Safety

Motorists Encouraged to “Be Tire Smart” During National Tire Safety Week

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.June 8, 2009 - Tens of millions of U.S. motorists continue to ignore a simple step that can save money, save gas and save lives: checking tire pressure.

A project sponsored by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) found that about half of surveyed passenger vehicles had at least one under inflated tire. More alarming is that nearly one in five vehicles had at least one significantly under inflated tire that can compromise safety and waste gas.

RMA is spearheading its eighth annual National Tire Safety Week June 7-13 to help educate motorists about the importance of proper tire care. To drive home the point of Americans’ lack of tire smarts, RMA worked with several tire retailers to collect actual tire pressure measurements from more than 5,400 vehicles.

“Few actions that are so simple and quick to do have such striking benefits,” said Charles A. Cannon, RMA president and CEO. “Taking five minutes every month to check tire pressure will put money in consumers’ pockets, reduce national fuel consumption, help tires last longer and save lives.”

Properly inflated tires can improve fuel efficiency by 3.3 percent and save $.06 a gallon at the pump, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Approximately 1.2 billion gallons of fuel are wasted each year by U.S. motorists driving on under inflated tires.

Under inflated tires also pose a safety risk. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimates that under inflated tires contribute to more than 600 fatalities and 33,000 injuries each year.

Among the RMA tire pressure survey findings:

• Only 9% of vehicles had four properly inflated tires.
• 50% of vehicles had at least one under inflated tire.
• 19% of vehicles had at least one tire under inflated by 8 pounds per square inch (psi.)
• 26% of vehicles had at least one tire under inflated by 6 psi.
• 38% of vehicles had at least one tire under inflated by 4 psi.

Although all new vehicles are now equipped with tire pressure monitoring systems, these systems issue a low pressure warning only after tire pressure drops 25 percent below the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure. In many cases, an 8 psi loss of pressure would not trigger a warning light and would cause a loss of fuel economy and could lead to a vehicle safety issue.

In addition to the tire pressure survey, RMA commissioned a poll of registered drivers to gauge their knowledge of proper tire maintenance.

While a strong majority of drivers rate checking tire pressure as one of the top actions they can take to save fuel, 82 percent do not know how to properly check tires.

• 44 percent of drivers wrongly believe that the correct inflation pressure is printed on the tire sidewall. Another 14 percent do not know where to find the correct pressure.
• 20 percent of drivers wrongly believe that the best time to check their tires is when they are warm after being driven for at least a few miles.
• Nearly 2 out of 3 drivers do not know how to tell if their tires are bald.

To properly check tire pressure, motorists should check once each month; check tires when cold – before the vehicle is driven and; use the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure found on a label located on the driver’s door or door post or check the owner’s manual.

“In an Earth Day address this year, President Obama repeated his fuel-saving campaign advice to Americans to check tire pressure,” Cannon said. “We couldn’t agree more and hope more Americans will take five minutes every month and be tire smart.”

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.

Record Participation for 8th National Tire Safety Week

More Than 21,000 Outlets to Offer RMA’s Be Tire Smart Materials

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.June 5, 2009 - The eighth annual National Tire Safety Week, June 7-13, will feature record participation by tire retailers, auto dealers and auto service stations nationwide, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association.

More than 5.5 million Be Tire Smart brochures have been shipped to be distributed to consumers in more than 21,000 retail outlets nationwide.

A project sponsored by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) found that about half of surveyed passenger vehicles had at least one under inflated tire. More alarming is that nearly one in five vehicles had at least one significantly under inflated tire that can compromise safety and waste gas.

Among the RMA tire pressure survey findings:

• Only 9% of vehicles had four properly inflated tires.
• 50% of vehicles had at least one under inflated tire.
• 19% of vehicles had at least one tire under inflated by 8 pounds per square inch (psi.)
• 26% of vehicles had at least one tire under inflated by 6 psi.
• 38% of vehicles had at least one tire under inflated by 4 psi.

Although all new vehicles are now equipped with tire pressure monitoring systems, these systems issue a low pressure warning only after tire pressure drops 25 percent below the vehicle manufacturer’s recommended pressure. In many cases, an 8 psi loss of pressure would not trigger a warning light and would cause a loss of fuel economy and could lead to a vehicle safety issue.

Tire pressure information was collected by several tire retail companies that have partnered with RMA in the Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART program.

Tire pressure data collected on 5,478 vehicles in the Boston, Providence, Jacksonville, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Austin, Houston, Chicago, Detroit and Portland, OR areas. Tire retailers participating in the data collection were: Sullivan Tire and Auto (Boston, Providence); National Tire and Battery (NTB) (Chicago, Houston); Discount Tire Company (Albuquerque, Phoenix, Austin, Detroit); Auto Tire (St. Louis); Les Schwab Tire (Portland, OR); Pep Boys (Philadelphia); and Tire Kingdom (Jacksonville, Orlando, West Palm Beach, FL).

“We are extremely grateful to our retail partners who committed resources and effort to help collect this information,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president, public affairs. “The data is very helpful in demonstrating the need for continued education efforts to help consumers understand the importance of regular tire care.”

Survey fact sheets and other information about National Tire Safety Week can be found at www.betiresmart.org. Web site visitors also can listen to four radio public service announcements that are being distributed to 3,000 stations nationwide. Two of the announcements feature David Ragan, NASCAR driver of the #6 Discount Tire Ford Fusion.

“Gaining access to a NASCAR driver these past few years for public service announcements has helped RMA reach millions of radio listeners with tire care messages,” Zielinski said. “Discount Tire has been very generous in helping secure Mr. Ragan’s cooperation and we deeply appreciate their commitment to our Be Tire Smart program.”

The Be Tire Smart program is funded by RMA’s tire manufacturer members: Bridgestone Americas, Inc., Continental Tire North America, Inc., Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, Michelin North America, Inc., Pirelli North America, Inc., Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc. and Yokohama Tire Corporation.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.