By Oliver Hall
Nearly 90 per cent of all scrap tyres that are replaced and thrown away each year are put to a new productive use, according to a study.
And the reuse rate of scrap tyres is higher than most other recovered waste materials, including glass bottles, paper and aluminium cans, the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) report concluded.
Michael Blumenthal, vice president of the RMA, said “Scrap tyre management in the US is a huge environmental success story.”
Of the various scrap tyre markets, tyre-derived fuel remained the largest, accounting for 54 per cent of scrap tyres generated, the RMA said.
It predicted TDF demand would remain strong through 2009 because of increasing fuel prices and improvements in the quality and reliable delivery of TDF.
Ground rubber applications—including playground and sports surfacing, rubber-modified asphalt and new rubber products—accounted for only 17 percent of the scrap tyre market in 2007, the RMA said.
The association expects modest growth through 2009, largely thanks to the playground and athletic turf markets.
Civil engineering accounted for about 12 percent of scrap tyre markets in 2007, the RMA said, and has been in decline since 2003 because of competition with TDF.
Legal landfills and smaller markets consumed the remaining 17 per cent, the association said.
The RMA said the study “shows continued progress in scrap tyre management practices across the nation resulting in significant reduction of scrap tyre stockpiles and continued progress in putting waste tyres to new uses.”