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WASHINGTON, D.C., March 20, 2014 –The Rubber Manufacturers Association announced today that Michael Blumenthal, vice president, Environment & Resource Recovery will retire from RMA effective July 11, 2014. Mr. Blumenthal has led RMA’s scrap tire management effort since 1990.
RMA hired Blumenthal in October 1990 as the Executive Director of RMA’s Scrap Tire Management Council (STMC). At the time, scrap tire stockpiles were identified as a leading solid waste problem in the U.S. Only 11 percent of all scrap tires went to an end use market while EPA estimated that more than 1 billion scrap tires were in piles. Today, about 85 percent of scrap tires are reused in a market and tire stockpiles have been reduced to slightly more than 100 million tires.
Few viable scrap tire markets existed in the early 1990s and most states were in early phases of developing scrap tire management programs. RMA mounted its effort to address the environmental problems posed by scrap tires through advocacy of state regulations, development of end use markets and stockpile abatement. RMA also sought to compile and make available pertinent information on scrap tire management, abatement, markets and other research as it became available.
“RMA’s scrap tire management effort has played an enormous role in addressing one of the most serious solid waste issues in the nation,” said Charles Cannon, RMA president and CEO. “And without a doubt, Michael’s dedication, commitment and hard work have been the epicenter of RMA’s contribution and enormous success.”
Blumenthal has coordinated nearly three dozen national and regional conferences on scrap tire management and spoken at more than 200 trade shows and conferences since 1990. He also has led RMA activity to address on scrap tire issues along the US/Mexico border since 1995 and was the signatory for the US tire manufacturers commitment in an accord between the US and Mexico.
Among his early successes, Blumenthal played an integral part to help publish numerous studies and reports on scrap tire markets; a report on tire leachate, a comprehensive report on tire derived fuel emissions and a manual that provides an overview of the issues to consider to start a scrap tire business.
Following those initial works, Blumenthal’s efforts helped create the first comprehensive guidelines for the prevention and fighting of scrap tire fires; guidelines for the use of tire shreds in civil engineering applications; ASTM standards for the use of tires in civil engineering applications and tire-derived fuel; the revision of the national fire code for outdoor storage of tire and; the first compendium of definitions used in the scrap tire industry.
“Since I started at RMA, tire manufacturers have been strongly committed to an aggressive and ongoing effort to address a serious environmental issue,” Blumenthal said. “Representing the industry on this crucial issue for almost a quarter century has been a true honor and pleasure. The progress that has been made from those early days of the industry’s effort through today is a proud accomplishment. Now after 24 years, 48 states and more than 4 million air miles I can also say that it is time to move on.”
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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.