Scrap Tire Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Facts:

Generated: * 3.9 million tons or 1.9% of generated MSW by weight.*

* Almost 1 scrap tire is generated per person per year.

* The average weight of a passenger car scrap tire is 20 pounds.

* A truck scrap tire will weigh 40 pounds or more.

* A steel-belted radial passenger tire will have 2.5 pounds of steel.

Recycled: * 730,000 tons for an 18.7% recovery rate.*

Recycled Content: * New tires contain no more than 2% recycled rubber.

* Retreads contain 75% recycled content.

Composted: * Scrap tires do not compost, but shredded tire chips can be used as a bulking agent in composting wastewater treatment sludge.

Incinerated or Landfilled: * 3.2 million tons or 2.1% of discarded MSW by weight.*

* Scrap tires have a 15,000 British thermal unit (Btu) fuel value per pound, which is slightly higher than coal.

* Unlandfilled scrap tires can create a public health problem as a mosquito breeding area.

* 44 states restrict scrap tire disposal at landfills.

* Landfilled single tires can pose problems if the tires fail to compress within the landfill then rise up and resurface.

Landfill Volume: * EPA landfill volume data does not include tires.

Source Reduction: * Purchasing longer tread-life tires, rotating and balancing tires every 4,000 miles, and keeping tires at their recommended air pressure levels are the best ways to reduce the number of scrap tires.

* Reuse of used (but still usable) tires and retreading are the primary source reduction options.

* Approximately 30 million to 33 million tires are retreaded yearly.

* Improved manufacturing techniques have doubled the useful life of tires since 1955, with 40,000-mile tires now commonplace.

Scrap Tire Markets: * Tire-derived fuel (TDF) is by far the largest market for scrap tires. TDF is a low sulfur, high heating value fuel.

* Exports are the next largest market, followed by ground rubber products, such as rubber-modified asphalt and pneumatic tires.

Scrap Tire Market Specifications: Each market for scrap tires has its own specifications.

Scrap Tire Value: Scrap tires usually have low to negative value. In many cases, generators pay a tip fee to scrap tire markets.

TDF markets generally are linked to the price of coal.

Chaz Miller is acting director, state programs, for the Environmental Industry Associations, Washington, D.C.

"Characterization of Municipal Solid Waste in the United States:

1997 Update," 1998. U.S. Environ-mental Protection Agency (EPA) Office of Solid Waste, Washington, D.C. Website:

Markets for Scrap Tires, U.S. EPA,

October 1991.

Rubber Manufacturers Association, Washington, D.C. Website: www.rma. org

"Scrap Tire Use/Disposal Study, 1996 Update." Scrap Tire Management Council Website: