WASHINGTON (June 25, 2009)—Scrap tire management in the U.S. progressed substantially between 2005 and 2007, the Rubber Manufacturers Association concluded in its Ninth Biennial Report on Scrap Tire Markets in the U.S.
In 2007 89.3 percent by weight of the scrap tires generated in the U.S. that year were consumed in end-use markets, compared with 82 percent in 2005, the RMA said in the report issued June 22. In 1990—the first year the association studied U.S. scrap tire management—only 11 percent went to end-use markets.
Of the various scrap tire markets, tire-derived fuel remained the largest, accounting for 54 percent of scrap tires generated, the RMA said. It predicted TDF demand would remain strong through 2009, because of increasing fuel prices and improvements in the quality and reliable delivery of TDF.
Ground rubber applications—including playground and sports surfacing, rubber-modified asphalt and new rubber products—accounted for 17 percent of the scrap tire market in 2007, the RMA said. The association expects modest growth through 2009, largely thanks to the playground and athletic turf markets.
Civil engineering accounted for about 12 percent of scrap tire markets in 2007, the RMA said, and has been in decline since 2003 because of competition with TDF. Legal landfills and smaller markets consumed the remaining 17 percent, the association said.
Scrap tire stockpiles stood at about 128 million total in 2007, an 87-percent decrease since 1990, according to the RMA. Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York and Texas have the remaining U.S. stockpiles, though Alabama, Michigan and New York have ongoing abatement programs while Texas completed one in 2007.
Scrap tire markets remain strongly regional in nature, with scrap tire demand outstripping supply in about three-fifths of the U.S., the RMA said. The greatest market challenges remain in the West, thanks to terrain and large expanses between population centers, it said.
The report is available free for download from www.rma.org