WASHINGTON—Citing figures from its recently released 2017 U.S. Scrap Tire Report, the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association is calling scrap tire management one of the country's "great environmental success stories."
As of 2017, more than 81 percent of scrap tires in the U.S. find a useful end-life in products such as tire-derived fuel, rubber-modified asphalt and other products, USTMA said in the report. In 1991, the year the USTMA—then called the Rubber Manufacturers Association—began its efforts in scrap tire management, only one scrap tire in ten was effectively reused.
USTMA's July 18 report also noted that the number of stockpiled scrap tires plummeted by 94 percent to about 60 million in 2017, from about 1 billion in 1991.
"Scrap tire management in the U.S. demonstrates an environmental success story—one that not enough people know about," Anne Forristall Luke, USTMA president and CEO, said.
"Over the past 30 years, USTMA has worked with state partners to find uses for scrap tires," Luke said. "This success is reflective of the commitment to environmental responsibility from our industry, and we look forward to building on these successes as we work towards our goal of 100 percent of scrap tires reused."
TDF and rubber-modified asphalt will continue to be the key areas of growth in the scrap tire industry, and will be the focus of the USTMA's scrap tire management efforts, the association said.
Highlights of the report include:
- At 43 percent, TDF was the highest use for scrap tires in 2017, the report said. TDF use in cement kilns continues to increase, parallel with strong performance in the construction industry, it said.
- Rubber-modified asphalt, a highly effective and environmentally friendly alternative to traditional paving materials, consumed more than 7 million tires in 2017, according to the report.
- In the ground rubber market, top end-uses include mats, garbage cans, flooring, landscaping and playground mulch, the report said.
- Thirty-seven states collect fees on new tires for scrap tire management, and 30 have scrap tire stockpile cleanup programs, 23 of which are active, the report said.