DENVER (April 2, 2009)—Colorado legislators have removed a provision in a bill that would have hiked the state's scrap tire fee and used the extra money to fund non-tire projects.
Senate Bill 31 would have created a grant program for developing clean technology research projects and funded some of those grants by raising the fee to $3.25 per tire from $1.50. Since it passed the state Senate in February, the bill has been modified in the House this week into a research bill for renewable energy with a different funding mechanism.
The Rubber Manufacturers Association welcomed the news.
“From our perspective, that was the right thing to do,” said Michael Blumenthal, RMA vice president of environment and resource recovery.
Blumenthal said he and Dan Zielinski, RMA vice president of public affairs, visited with state legislators since the bill's introduction to discuss Colorado's need to use its tire fee for market development. The state has markets for 3.5 million scrap tires but generates an estimated 4.5 million scrap tires a year, he said.
One cement kiln in the state uses 1 million scrap tires, and there are no civil engineering applications underway, he noted.
Additionally, the state has two major tire stockpiles—one containing 5 million scrap tires and another with an estimated 40 million to 50 million tires, Blumenthal said. Before Senate Bill 31, Colorado diverted 80 percent of the funds collected from the tire fee elsewhere.
The RMA would like to see a greater percentage of the $1.50 fee used for tire management, he said, adding that he will visit with state officials again in May.