LANSING, Mich. (Feb. 5, 2010)—Michigan's scrap tire management program has achieved great success, but the state must plan carefully to maintain and build on this success, according to a new report from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality.
In 1991, there were more than 30 million scrap tires stockpiled in Michigan, the DEQ said. Now, there are 664,000 passenger tire equivalents in stockpiles there. Michigan scrap tire processing facilities reported processing 10 million scrap tires in 2004 and 13.8 million in 2005, according to the report.
Through a combination of regulatory incentives, an enforceable registration and manifesting system for managing scrap tires, and the development of viable end-uses for tires, the state has created a workable system for scrap tire abatement and recycling, the report said.
However, to keep scrap tires from becoming a problem again, the state must be careful to keep on managing the 10 million scrap tires generated annually in the state; the DEQ said. It must also maintain a reliable funding level for scrap tire programs; clean up the remaining stockpiles and small scrap tire accumulations; prevent new stockpile formation; continue to develop and support scrap tire markets; and collect data on end users, markets and the actual number of tires used, it said.
Michigan has expanded its scrap tire markets with only limited direct government subsidies—unlike Wisconsin, which heavily subsidized scrap tire markets only to see them decline once the subsidies ended, according to the report.
“History has taught us that using state scrap tire funds to subsidize scrap tire processing has yielded less than desirable results,” the report said.