CIUDAD JUAREZ, Mexico (Sept. 17)—Grupo Cementos de Chihuahua, a subsidiary of Mexican cement-making giant CEMEX S.A. de C.V., has signed an agreement with Mexican federal environmental officials and city executives of Ciudad Juarez to start using scrap tires at its kiln in Samalayuca, 25 miles south of Juarez.
Cementos de Chihuahua agrees to burn 800,000 tires a year for five years, and will spend $2.5 million to retrofit its Samalayuca kiln for the operation; in return, Juarez will pay Cementos de Chihuahua 31 cents for each tire it burns. Ciudad Juarez has more than 5 million tires in its collection center alone, plus maybe 2 million more in illegal dumps, according to the Associated Press.
The agreement represents a step forward for the Mexican scrap tire situation, according to Michael Blumenthal, senior technical adviser to the Rubber Manufacturers Association. "This is exactly how we like to see a program start upùan established company using a lot of tires quickly in an economically and environmentally sound manner," he said.