The U.S. generates approximately 300 million scrap tires each year. It is also estimated that at least 265 million of them lie in stockpiles across the country. Markets exist for approximately 85% of scrap tires, such as tire derived fuel, civil engineering applications, and crumb rubber products, and more states are adding specifications for use of crumb rubber in highway asphalt. Thanks to scrap tire management fees imposed by many states, scrap tire stockpiles in the United States have diminished to just one-tenth what they were in the early 1990’s. However, tire management fees in many states are due to sunset in the near future, leading to concerns over the future of funding for tire cleanup efforts.
Scrap tires are a bulky nuisance when disposed in a landfill. Whole tires compressed near the surface of a landfill have a tendency to bounce back to their original shape, often appearing to “float” to the surface. Scrap tires also create environmental threats and serious health hazards when they are improperly stored. A tire’s cylindrical shape allows rainwater to collect inside it, creating a prime breeding ground for disease-carrying mosquitoes and rodents. Furthermore, tire stockpiles also retain heat, making them prone to spontaneous combustion. Voluntary product stewardship efforts of companies like Bridgestone, which, in 2012, began recycling one tire for every Bridgestone tire sold in the U.S. through its One Team, One Planet program, aim to prevent these threats by ensuring that scrap tires are captured and sent to another valuable use. – Product Stewardship Institute
Connecticut DEEP is in the early planning stages for a tire stewardship program. Visit PSI’s webpage for basic information about tire management, Tires: What are the Issues? Learn more about Recycling and Disposal of Scrap Tires in Connecticut.
CT DEEP in partnership with the Product Stewardship Institute will host a Tires Stewardship Dialogue Meeting – Wednesday, January 21, 2015. To register click here: 2015 Tires Stewardship Dialogue Meeting