HARTFORD, Conn.—A market-based approach to scrap tire management is a proven model environmental success story that states should continue to use, the Rubber Manufacturers Association said in testimony Jan. 21 at a scrap tire forum in Hartford.
“The free-market approach to scrap tire management has produced a phenomenal environmental success story across the U.S.,” said Dan Zielinski, RMA senior vice president-public affairs, at a forum sponsored by the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
“Creating a new approach that is vastly different from existing state programs and that introduces more bureaucracy, cost and inefficiency would be counterproductive,” Zielinski said.
The RMA has collected data on scrap tire management since 1990, and those data demonstrate dramatic improvements in scrap tire management since then thanks to market-based strategies, according to the association.
In 1990, there were more than 1 billion stockpiled scrap tires in the U.S., and only 10 percent reached end-use markets, the RMA said. By 2013, the number of stockpiled scrap tires had fallen to 75 million, and 96 percent went to market, it said.
Effective scrap tire management programs, according to the RMA, contain the following features:
• A dedicated, time-limited funding source, usually a fee imposed on the sale of new tires;
• A system to track scrap tires from the time they are generated to the time they reach an end-use market;
• Consistent enforcement of scrap tire regulations;
• Consistent cleanup of scrap tire stockpiles; and
• Market development for scrap tires.
“Tire manufacturers have worked across the nation to help establish effective state scrap tire management programs,” Zielinski said. “The numbers tell the story: the effort is paying off in a cleaner environment.”
The Hartford forum is scheduled to continue through Jan. 22. It is sponsored by the Product Stewardship Institute, which advocates a scrap tire management approach that the RMA opposes.