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.

CALIFORNIA TIRE MEASURE IS A LAWSUIT MAGNET

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

RMA Says Bill is Inconsistent, Contradictory, Fear-Mongering

WASHINGTON, D.C.May 28, 2009 - The Rubber Manufacturers Association today criticized a California Assembly bill as “inconsistent”, “contradictory,” and “fear-mongering” that would only serve to increase lawsuit opportunities for the bill’s primary supporters – trial lawyers.

The Assembly passed the measure today by a vote of 41-28.

AB 496 would selectively require consumer notification about a tire’s chronological age on some sellers of replacement tires, primarily tire dealers. Supporters of the measure claim that tires reaching a certain age are a potential safety hazard and say the notification is necessary to prevent older tires from being placed into service.

However, supporters’ alleged concern with motorist safety is contradicted by provisions in the bill that would exempt millions of tires from the bill’s age notification.

“Proponents of this bill use fear-mongering to allege that tires reaching a certain chronological age are dangerous,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president, public affairs. “But the bill is inconsistent in its application. Any consumer who buys tires or a vehicle in a private transaction, or who buys a new or used vehicle from a dealer or who buys replacement tires from an auto dealer would not receive a notification under this proposal. These exemptions make the measure contradictory on its face and are implicit acknowledgement that chronological tire age alone is not a hazard.”

RMA also says that the measure’s notification provisions are confusing and likely to result in second-guessing by trial lawyers.

“Providing a simple, understandable notification to consumers about a tire’s date of manufacture is reasonable,” Zielinski said. “But the bill provides several options that would likely lead to trial lawyers’ accusations that a dealer didn’t provide the most appropriate notification. This would force nearly all notifications to be given prior to the point of sale which will result in needless service delays.”

In an earlier letter of opposition to AB 496 author, Assembly Member Mike Davis, RMA noted that a prior-to-sale notification would be impractical and burdensome.

Although several auto and tire manufacturers have issued recommendations for tire replacement after a number of years, none are derived from technical data that suggests a tire would not perform after such time.

Allegations that there is a correlation between tire performance and chronological tire age are unfounded and unsupported by data. No auto industry, tire industry or National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) data has determined that a tire cannot perform when it reaches a particular chronological age.

Information provided by RMA to NHTSA shows that chronological tire age is not a factor in tire performance. An RMA study of 14,000 scrap tires did not reveal any indication that tires are removed from service once they reach a certain chronological age. A second comprehensive study of all claims made by consumers to tire manufacturers over a six-year period showed that the rate of claims as a function of the chronological age of tires actually decreases after six years.

“AB 496 would only benefit trial lawyers by creating a new roadmap to sue California tire dealers,” Zielinski said. “The measure makes inaccurate statements about tire performance and imposes new burdens on tire retailers in a particularly unfortunate economic climate.”

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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.

RMA, Alliance to Save Energy Team Up on Drive $marter Challenge to Help Drivers Save on Gas

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.May 19, 2009 - The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) and the Alliance to Save Energy have teamed up with a broad coalition of companies and organizations to “drive forward” the Alliance’s Drive $marter Challenge campaign designed to save drivers hundreds of dollars on gasoline and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
RMA’s Be Tire Smart – Play Your PART tire care education program and the Alliance’s Drive $marter Challenge both seek to educate consumers to take simple steps that can save money, protect the environment and promote safety.

“We share a common goal in seeking to educate motorists that proper maintenance can have significant personal and national benefits,” said Charles A. Cannon, RMA president and CEO.

RMA’s eighth annual National Tire Safety Week on June 7-13 will involve more than 20,000 tire and auto service outlets that will offer Be Tire Smart information to consumers. The initiative provides an opportunity to promote both environmental and safety benefits of tire care.

The Drive $marter Challenge website (www.drivesmarterchallenge.org) identifies events and gives additional tips to cut gas costs and improve the environment.

RMA, which is a leader in promoting conservation and safety messages by advocating proper tire care, has become the latest partner of the Drive $marter Challenge campaign. This effort includes diverse nonprofit, governmental, and for-profit entities working together to promote fuel efficient driving and proper vehicle maintenance and encouraging consumers to conserve energy.

“RMA is proud to join efforts with the diverse community of interests in The Drive $marter Challenge as it is a natural fit to our ongoing consumer education on the importance of regular tire maintenance,” said Cannon. “Under-inflated tires waste fuel, cause tires to wear out prematurely and increase driver’s safety risk. With fuel prices on the rise again, simple tire maintenance steps can save gas and money.”

President Obama also is an advocate of tire maintenance. On Earth Day in April, the president promoted energy efficiency and said that “the one small step Americans could take” is “to keep their tires inflated.”

“We certainly agree with President Obama and join him in urging American drivers to take five minutes every month to check tire pressure,” Cannon said.

The Drive $marter Challenge website features a unique interactive calculator showing drivers immediately how many hundreds of dollars they can save with their specific vehicles by taking six easy driving and maintenance actions.

The Alliance to Save Energy is a non-profit coalition of business, government, environmental and consumer leaders. The Alliance to Save Energy supports energy efficiency as a cost-effective energy resource and advocates energy-efficiency policies that minimize energy use and costs to society and individual consumers and that lessen greenhouse gas emissions and their impact on the global climate.

Partners of the Drive $marter Challenge include American Petroleum Institute, Car Care Council, DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, ExxonMobil, League of American Bicyclists, National Association of Counties, National Association of State Energy Officials, NASCAR, National Independent Auto Dealers Association, National Low Income Energy Consortium and RMA.

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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. All RMA press releases are available at www.rma.org.

RMA Participates in US Interior Department Safety Day

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.May 19, 2009 - The Rubber Manufacturers Association will participate today in a U.S. Interior Department (DOI) Annual Safety & Health Week. The DOI Safety and Health Information fair will be held May 19th at DOI headquarters in Washington, D.C.
RMA will join government and non-governmental agencies in educating DOI staff and others about various safety-related issues. Exhibitors expected to participate include Occupational Health and Safety Administration, the National Safety Council, Electrical Safety Foundation and others.

RMA staff and Phillip the Tire mascot will be handing out materials and demonstrating proper tire care and maintenance as well as promoting National Tire Safety Week, which is June 7-13.

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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. All RMA press releases are available at www.rma.org.

RMA Awards Industry for Achievements in Worker Safety

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

WASHINGTON, D.CApril 22, 2009 - Forty-one tire and rubber manufacturing facilities were recognized for improvements in worker health and safety at the Rubber Manufacturers Association’s annual meeting.
RMA’s Safety and Health Improvement Program (SHIP), created in 1981 recognizes member companies that achieve significant enhancements in worker health and safety with awards. The SHIP awards encourage and reward a company’s demonstrated commitment to worker health and safety.

“Today’s awards are clear evidence of this industry’s commitment to worker safety,” said Charles Cannon, RMA president and CEO.

Two categories of awards are presented to companies that demonstrate workplace safety improvements, which are measured by the incidence rate for lost workday cases. The “Excellence” category is for facilities that achieve an incidence rate that is 75 percent better than the average achieve by plants that provide data to RMA.

The “Improvement” award is for plants that achieve an incidence rate that is both 10 percent better than its rate in the previous year and the same or better than the RMA average incidence rate.

One hundred and thirty-two plants from 31 RMA member companies supplied data for the annual survey to determine the extent of workplace safety improvements. The data supplied to RMA is identical to information provided to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics, which publishes injury and illness information on all industries.

Click here to see a list of the 2009 SHIP award winners.

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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.

RMA URGES TURFGRASS GROUP TO CORRECT INACCURATE CRUMB RUBBER INFORMATION

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

2009 Turfgrass Letter

WASHINGTON, D.C.April 21, 2009 - The Rubber Manufacturers Association has sent a letter to Turfgrass Producers International urging the group to correct a number of inaccuracies it posted on its web site concerning the use of crumb rubber in artificial turf applications.

“Your web site also raises many health concerns about scrap tire generated ground rubber. You may not be aware of numerous scientific reports and studies that have examined such concerns and have concluded that scrap tire generated ground rubber poses no threat to human health.,” explained Michael Blumenthal, vice president.

RMA has offered to provide the group with information so that consumers are not misled to the belief that scrap tire derived products pose any consumer health risk. RMA will monitor the group’s site.

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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.

RMA Statement on Nomination of Charles A. “Chuck” Hurley for NHTSA Administrator

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.April 9, 2009 - The Rubber Manufacturers Association looks forward to the opportunity to work with the next Administrator of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. President Obama’s choice to lead NHTSA, Charles A. “Chuck” Hurley, has a long career in automotive safety advocacy including the Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, National Safety Council and, most recently, the CEO of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
“Mr. Hurley has had a distinguished career as a motorist safety advocate,” said Charles A. Cannon, RMA president and CEO. “Mr. Hurley’s nomination sends a strong signal that this Administration shares the tire manufacturing industry’s commitment to safety. We recognize Mr. Hurley’s long-term efforts to engage the public making our highways safer.

“If confirmed by the Senate, we look forward to an early opportunity to meet with Mr. Hurley to educate him about our industry’s commitment to safety,” Cannon said. “We would further welcome his partnership in communicating important tire care and maintenance messages to U.S. motorists.”

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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.

RMA to Coordinate and Participate in Industrial Byproducts Workshop in San Diego

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.March 31, 2009 - The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), in coordination with the Industrial Resources Council, is conducting a one day workshop on the use of industrial byproducts in highway construction in San Diego, on April 20.

“RMA has always sought to work with other stakeholders in an effort to provide the most timely information that will allow us to expand markets for scrap tires,” said Michael Blumenthal, RMA vice president. “This workshop will provide a venue where new market opportunities can be explored.”

The workshop is being sponsored by the California Integrated Waste Management Board, the City/County of San Diego and the San Diego Environmental Services Department. The workshop is being coordinated by the Industrial Resource Council (IRC), and will feature presentations on scrap tires and construction and demolition debris.

“The focus of the workshop is to educate the highway community, state and county officials on the engineering and economic benefits of using industrial byproducts in a highway construction,” Blumenthal said. “Our goal is to provide a one-stop learning experience where highway and construction officials can learn about these materials.

Additionally, the program will include a Federal Highway Administration presentation on their Green Highway Partnership and a presentation on the flow of used tires from California into Mexico.

The workshop will be held at the auditorium at the City of San Diego Environmental Services Department, 9601 Ridgehaven Court, San Diego, CA 92123-1636 from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

To register for the event, visit www.rma.org/scrap_tires/conferences_and_events.

The IRC is comprised of organizations representing industrial byproducts. Currently the members of the IRC are: the American Coal Ash Association; the Construction Materials Recycling Association; the Foundry Industry Recycling Starts Today (FIRST); the National Council for Air & Stream Improvement (NCASI); the National Slag Association (NSA) and Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA).

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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.