According to a report by the Washington-based Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), nearly 87 percent of tires discarded each year go on to be used in new products. Compare this to 1990, when only 11 percent of scrap tires were recycled or reused. The report, titled “2005 U.S. Scrap Tire Markets,” also reveals that the number of tires sitting in stockpiles last year shrunk to 188 million from 275 million in 2003. That number is even more impressive when compared to 1990, when more than 1 billion scrap tires were stockpiled.
“Tire manufacturers have been working hard for 16 years to promote environmentally and economically sound solutions to reduce scrap tire waste,” said Michael Blumenthal, RMA senior technical director, introducing the report. “Additionally, states’ scrap tire cleanup laws and regulations and market development efforts have substantially reduced the nation’s scrap tire piles.”
According to the report, the three largest markets for scrap tires are ground rubber, civil engineering applications and tire-derived fuel (TDF). A PDF of the full report can be obtained here.