Colorado Legislation to Address Waste Tire Problems

Rocky Mountain State Has More than Half of Waste Tire Stockpiles in US

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

WASHINGTON, DC – April 16, 2014 – A Colorado House committee will debate a measure on Thursday to reform the state’s waste tire program that has propelled Colorado to have more stockpiled waste tires than any other state.  More than 60 million tires currently sit in two mammoth piles that pose a potential environmental risk should either pile catch fire.

Nearly 25 years ago, more than 1 billion tires were stockpiled while only 11% of waste tires were consumed in an end use market.  Today, only 100 million waste tires are left in piles across the nation and more than 80% of annually generated waste tires are sent to an end use market.

The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) has led efforts across the country to enact environmentally sound and economically efficient waste tire legislation and regulations.  RMA is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S.

“Colorado is unfortunately the worst in the nation in waste tire management,” said Michael Blumenthal, RMA vice president.  “We have been working with legislators, regulators and stakeholders for years to fix this problem.  Finally, we have a proposal that puts Colorado on a path to cleaning up this blight.”

RMA is supporting bipartisan legislation to address Colorado’s waste tire management program.  HB 1352 sponsored by Reps. Max Tyler and Don Coram would put Colorado on a path to cleanup and close the tire landfills, known as monofills; end an inefficient taxpayer subsidy payment to end users of waste tires and; cut the state’s tire fee on new tire purchases from $1.50 to $0.55.

“Experience has proven that state waste tire management problems can be solved with enforcement, active cleanup efforts and the expansion of waste tire markets,” Blumenthal said.  “By closing the tire monofills and eliminating taxpayer subsidies, Colorado can work toward developing more diverse and higher-value markets for waste tires.”

Blumenthal will testify in support of HB 1352 at Thursday’s hearing before the House Transportation and Energy Committee.

“Addressing Colorado’s waste tire problems are long overdue,” Blumenthal said.  “The monofills must be shut down and cleaned up sooner not later.  Any further delay increases the chances that Colorado could suffer an environmental cleanup nightmare if one of the mammoth tire piles were to catch fire.  We look forward to moving this proposal forward and establishing an effective and environmentally sound waste tire program.”

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the U.S.  All RMA press releases are available at www.rma.org.