Scrap rubber isn't the only valuable by-product of old tires. Tire wire is fast becoming a valued item from discarded tires. ``With the development of new processing systems and metal markets, we have found there is a readily available market for tire wire,'' Michael Blumenthal, executive director of the Scrap Tire Management Council, said at Scrap Tire '96.
Greg Crawford, vice president of recycling operations for the Steel Recycling Institute, said the steel industry has embraced tire wire recycling because it saves landfill space, energy and natural resources.
``Really, landfill reduction is what drives public interest,'' Crawford said. ``Natural resource conservation is why industry becomes involved.''
He said the steel industry recycles 70 million tons of scrap steel annually. Tire wire recycling is a priority on the steel industry's list-once it can find out how much is available for recycling.
``The interesting thing about tire wire chemistry is the bonus one gets with the brass and copper (coatings),'' Crawford said. ``But if there's too much rubber (attached to the tire wire) or if the material is not prepared properly, then there won't be an arrangement. The more rubber, the more contamination there is.''
The SRI is working with the STMC to come up with a list of producers and possible users to further extend the use of recycled tire wire.