DENVER (May 8, 2012)—Tire manufacturers are giving a mixed review to the new scrap tire bill passed May 2 by the Colorado legislature.
“The positive aspect of the bill is that it would not allow any more 'shred and hide' situations with scrap tires in Colorado,” said Michael Blumenthal, vice president of the Rubber Manufacturers Association, “but the other components of the bill will not achieve the goals the state might want. The bill will keep the status quo until 2020.”
House Bill 1034 passed the Colorado House of Representatives May 2 and went to the desk of Gov. John Hickenlooper for signing.
The biggest change HB 1034 institutes in Colorado's scrap tire program is that it orders the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to withhold reimbursing scrap tire processors for processing tires unless they have either used the tires to make products or sold the tires to end users.
The change in the law was prompted by the bankruptcy of tire recycler Magnum d'Or Resources Inc., which the state reimbursed for processing tires although the company found few if any end-users.
Magnum d'Or's failure left the state with an enormous landfill of scrap tires in Hudson, Colo. “The state estimates the tires there at 31 million, but I think it's double that,” Blumenthal said.
HB 1034 will at least ensure that no future Magnum d'Or cases will occur, Mr. Blumenthal said, but it does nothing to develop markets for recycled tires in Colorado, or to ban landfilling altogether.
“The processing and end-use of tires in Colorado are subsidized,” Blumenthal said. One cement kiln in the state uses between 1 million and 2 million tires annually, he said, but the state generates between 4.5 million and 5 million scrap tires annually.
The one bright point is that the state has hired consultants to review the scrap tire situation in Colorado, Blumenthal said.
“The chairman of Colorado's scrap tire committee has said he's willing to draft a bill changing the state's scrap tire regulation if the consultants agree with us that changes are needed,” he said.