Tire Makers Roll Out Good News for National Recycling Week

Scrap Tire Markets Growing; Tire Piles Shrinking

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

WASHINGTON, DC, November 7, 2014 — A tire industry organization is issuing a report showing extraordinary success at efforts to address scrap tires. The tire report rolls out for National Recycling Week, which runs November 10-16.

The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), the national trade association for tire manufacturers that produce tires in the US, issued a report showing that more than 90% of scrap tire piles are cleaned up while 96% of tires discarded in 2013 were reused in several markets. The U.S. generates more than 230 million scrap tires every year.

Key findings:

Dramatic reduction in scrap tire stockpiles.

  • 1990: 1 billion stockpiled tires
  • 2013: 75 million stockpiled tires

Remarkable growth in scrap tire markets.

    • 1990: 10% of scrap tires consumed by markets
    • 2013: 95% of scrap tires consumed by markets.

Top two (three) scrap tire markets consumed 86% of annually generated tires in 2013.

    • Tire derived fuel (TDF):         56%
    • Ground rubber:                      25%
    • Civil engineering:                     5%

TDF is used by the pulp and paper industry and the cement industry as a supplemental fuel due to the high BTU content. Industries using tires as fuel conform to federal, state and local environmental laws and employ emission control devices.

Ground rubber is used to create a variety of products including athletic fields, playground cover and binding agents used to create a more durable and quieter asphalt road surface. Finely-ground scrap tire rubber also is used by some manufacturers in new tire construction.

Civil engineering applications use shredded tires as a substitute for other “fill” materials such as sand or gravel. Shredded tires add beneficial properties such as noise and vibration control, erosion prevention and drainage facilitation. Common uses include road and landfill construction and septic tank leachate fields.

In 2013, 75 million tires remained in stockpiles with the majority in Colorado and Texas. Colorado passed a law in 2013 at RMA’s urging to clean up its mammoth piles. Texas does not have a state scrap tire management program.  Other states with tire stockpiles include: Arkansas, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington.

States with Most Stockpiled Scrap Tires:

  • Colorado         31 million
  • Texas               15 million

Commonly Discarded wastes and recycling or reuse rates

  • Lead acid batteries:              98% (U.S. EPA)
  • Tires:                                       95% (RMA)
  • Aluminum cans:                    67% (Aluminum Association)
  • Plastic bottles:                       30% (NAPCOR)
  • Paper:                                      65% (U.S. EPA)
  • Glass bottles:                         34% (Glass Packaging Institute)

“Ongoing scrap tire management efforts in the U.S. have been tremendously successful,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president, public affairs. “Tire manufacturers have worked across the nation to help establish effective state scrap tire management programs, often funded by user fees on tire sales, to enforce regulations, clean up tire piles and promote environmentally sound, cost-effective markets for scrap tires. The numbers tell the story: the effort is paying off in a cleaner environment.”

 

# # # #

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. 

 

Proposed State Tire Fee Hike Won’t Clean Up Scrap Tires

45 Million Scrap Tires Litter Centennial State – Worst In Nation

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.March 5, 2009 - Buying a set of four tires will cost Colorado consumers an additional $13 if lawmakers approve a proposed increase in the state tire fee to $3.25 per tire.

State tire fees are typically used to pay for the cleanup of discarded tires and creation of markets for scrap tires. Unfortunately, Colorado diverts 80 percent of the current tire fee to other purposes and has not been active in either stockpile abatement or developing markets for the 4.5 million scrap tires the State generates each year.

A state-by-state survey of scrap tire management progress conducted by the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) shows Colorado has the most stockpiled tires of any state with 45 million tires, creating a health, safety, fire and environmental hazard.

“Colorado’s pro-environment reputation is challenged by the state’s abysmal record in managing waste tires,” said Michael Blumenthal, RMA vice president.

If the $1.75 per-tire fee hike is enacted, Colorado consumers will pay the state $13 for every set of four tires purchased. The total take for the state will amount to more than $14 million annually but none of those funds would be used to clean up the largest scrap tire pile in the U.S. – some 40 million tires in El Paso County.

Last week, the Colorado Senate approved SB09-31 18-15 to raise the state tire fee by $1.75 and use the funds for economic development. The House may address the measure shortly.

Nationwide, states have been vigorously cleaning up stockpiled waste tires and working to foster the creation of productive markets that reuse tires. In 1990, more than one billion tires were stockpiled nationwide and only 11 percent of scrap tires were reused.

Today, about 125 million tires remain stockpiled and more than 85 percent of annually generated scrap tires are reused. Colorado is home to more than one third of all the stockpiled scrap tires in the country.

The tire industry, led by RMA, has been working for nearly two decades to promote market-based solutions to using scrap tires and reasonable regulations to clean up piles of scrap tires. RMA supports fees on new tires to fund scrap tire management goals. The group opposes efforts to use such revenue for non-scrap tire purposes.

“It makes sense to impose fees on tires if the funds are used to address scrap tire issues,” Blumenthal said. “But when these revenues are hijacked for other purposes, a state may suffer far worse environmental consequences and cleanup costs if a major tire stockpile catches fire. In too many states, this failure to act has caused significant environmental harm and cost the state tens of millions of dollars in clean up costs.”

# # # #

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.

PA Measure Aims to Eliminate Scrap Tire Stockpiles

Dedicated Funding Source Key to Cleanup Action

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.August 23, 2007 - A bipartisan group of Pennsylvania lawmakers are seeking to eliminate scrap tire stockpiles across the state with legislation that provides $15 million in cleanup funds over five years.

The Rubber Manufacturers Association strongly supports the effort. The group conservatively estimates that Pennsylvania has nearly eight million tires in stockpiles and is one of seven states that have more than 85 percent of the nation’s stockpiled scrap tires.

“Pennsylvania lawmakers are on the right track with this legislation,” said Michael Blumenthal, RMA senior technical director. “A consistent funding stream has not been available for some time, which has hampered more extensive scrap tire clean up activities.”

RMA, which represents tire manufacturers, is a strong advocate for effective scrap tire management programs and activities. The group collects information on scrap tire market activity and cleanup efforts and issues a report every two years.

The legislation, SB 1050, was introduced by state Senator Lisa Baker (R-Dallas) with 11 co-sponsors, including Senate Minority Leader Robert Mellow (D). The measure would provide a $3 million annual appropriation for five years from the state’s Recycling Fund to the Used Tire Pile Remediation Restricted Account (UTRRA).

The legislation would provide a consistent and dedicated source of funding for scrap tire stockpile abatement. Additionally, it would require the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection to provide the Legislature with an annual progress report on stockpile abatement activities.

# # # #

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 Testifies Against Maryland “Tire Efficiency” Measure

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.March 7, 2007 - Maryland legislators should forgo consideration of state “tire efficiency” standards on tire makers and support a national consumer education program on tire rolling resistance, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association in testimony today before a House committee.

“The tire industry is committed to working with policymakers to provide information and education about tire manufacturing processes, tire performance characteristics, scrap tire market development and tire maintenance,” said Tracey Norberg, RMA vice president and deputy general counsel. “RMA appreciates the opportunity to discuss HB 608 and to inform the committee about policy developments in the area of tire energy efficiency over the past four years.”

The proposed legislation would create a consumer information program and rating system for tire rolling resistance and it would require minimum efficiency standards for all tires.

Norberg explained that attempts to emphasize tire fuel efficiency over other tire performance traits would have tradeoffs. She noted the relationship among tire rolling resistance, traction and tread wear and said that tire manufacturers would not compromise on safety.

Norberg also indicated that mandates for low rolling resistance tires would exacerbate scrap tire management issues. A 2006 RMA Scrap Tire Market Report illustrated the vast improvement in scrap tire management since 1990 that has reduced scrap tire stockpiles from 1 billion to fewer than 200 million tires and has helped markets for scrap tires soar from an 11 percent recovery rate to nearly 87 percent.

While California enacted tire efficiency legislation in 2003, Norberg said that the state has yet to promulgate regulations for either consumer information or performance standards. Also, tire testing by California regulators is not yet complete. RMA was able to secure some safeguards to the California legislation to forbid state performance standards if tire safety, tire longevity or the state’s scrap tire situation would be negatively affected.

RMA told Maryland lawmakers that an April 2006 National Academy of Sciences report recommended consumer information on tire rolling resistance in addition to improved consumer tire maintenance to help motorists optimize their fuel economy without limiting tire choices.

“A national program would obviate the need for states to develop their own consumer education programs and facilitate nationwide distribution of tire efficiency consumer information,” Norberg said. “A single, nationwide program would allow citizens in all states to make more informed tire purchasing decisions and avoid duplicative and potentially conflicting state requirements that would confuse consumers.”

Norberg concluded, “RMA recommends that Maryland forgo HB 608 in favor of a national program to address this issue. I am happy to keep this Committee and any appropriate regulatory agencies up to date on relevant developments on this issue.”

# # # #

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.

Tire Industry Report Rankes States on Scrap Tire Progress

More Tires Put to New Uses; Stockpiled Scrap Tires Down 80% Since 1990

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

WASHINGTON, D.C.December 5, 2006 - State cleanup laws and growing markets are helping to alleviate a serious environmental issue – scrap tires. According to a report by the Rubber Manufacturers Association, nearly 87 percent of disposed tires each year are put to a new use. In 1990, only 11 percent of scrap tires was consumed by a market.

Additionally, the number of tires sitting in stockpiles shrunk to 188 million from 275 million in 2003. More than 1 billion scrap tires were stockpiled in 1990.

RMA, which represents tire manufacturers, ranked states by their overall performance in dealing with scrap tire issues and how states improved since the previous scrap tire report in 2003.

South Carolina, North Carolina and Maine lead the nation in a performance ranking of dealing with scrap tires. Rankings are based on percent of tires going to end use markets, number of stockpiled tires, stockpiled tires per capita, number of tires land-disposed and the percent of the number of tires/per capita land-disposed in 2005.

Texas, Alabama, Michigan and Ohio were tops in improving the scrap tire situation in 2005 as compared to 2003.

“Tire manufacturers have been working hard for 16 years to promote environmentally and economically sound solutions to reduce scrap tire waste,” said Michael Blumenthal, RMA senior technical director. “Additionally, states’ scrap tire cleanup laws and regulations and market development efforts have substantially reduced the nation’s scrap tire piles.”

RMA’s report, based upon a comprehensive survey of state scrap tire and solid waste officials and industry participants, says that 259 million of 299 million scrap tires generated in 2005 went to an end use market.

The largest markets for scrap tires include:

  • Ground rubber – One of the largest markets for scrap tires is ground rubber, which consumed more than 30 million tires in 2005. Ground rubber is used in athletic and recreational surfaces, rubber-modified asphalt, carpet underlay, flooring material, dock bumpers and railroad crossing blocks.
  • Civil engineering – Projects such as road and landfill construction, septic tank leach fields and other construction applications consumed nearly 50 million tires. Tires add positive properties in these applications such as vibration and sound control, lightweight alternatives to prevent erosion and landslides and drainage in leachate systems.
  • Tire-derived fuel (TDF) – TDF is the leading use of scrap tires, especially as a supplemental fuel for cement kilns, electric utilities and pulp and paper mills. TDF use has increased almost 20 percent to 155 million scrap tires since 2003.

Since 1990, the number of scrap tires in stockpiles has been reduced by 81 percent. Of the remaining stockpiles, 85 percent are concentrated in 7 states: Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Michigan, New York, Pennsylvania and Texas. Alabama and New York have recently begun efforts to cleanup existing stockpiles.

In previous scrap tire market reports, RMA listed information only in millions of tires. This year, RMA added a weight category. Many other industries use weight when calculating reuse or recycling of waste materials. Under this measurement, 82 percent of scrap tires were used in a market application. The slightly smaller percentage is due to the varying sizes of tires which range from typical passenger-size tires weighing about 22.5 pounds to large commercial truck tires that can weigh more than 100 pounds.

The 2005 U.S. Scrap Tire Markets report is the eighth biennial report researched and published by RMA. The report shows the status, progress and challenges of the U.S. scrap tire industry.

# # # #

The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include more than 100 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.