According to a report released by the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA), over 81 percent of scrap tires are re-used in products such as tire-derived fuel, rubber modified asphalt and other products.
In 1991, when USTMA first started its efforts to re-purpose scrap tires, only one in ten was reused and there were more than one billion scrap tires in stockpiles. In 2017, there were roughly 60 million tires in stockpiles, a 94 percent decrease.
“Scrap tire management in the U.S. demonstrates an environmental success story – one that not enough people know about,” said Anne Forristall Luke, USTMA President and CEO. “Over the past 30 years, USTMA has worked with state partners to find uses for scrap tires. 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.”
USTMA’s Scrap Tire Program will be focusing on two key areas of growth in the future: tire-derived fuel and rubber modified asphalt.
Tire-derived fuel, which is used for industrial purposes, consumed about 106 million scrap tires in 2017. Rubber modified asphalt, another key growth area, can be used to build safer and more durable roads than other traditional types of asphalt. USTMA is working with stakeholders in states to increase awareness for the benefits of these two products.
Other highlights from the report include:
- The highest use of scrap tires in 2017 was for tire-derived fuel at 43 percent. The use of tire-derived fuel in cement kilns has continued to increase, paralleled with a strong performance of the construction industry.
- Rubber modified asphalt is a cost effective product that consumed over seven million scrap tires in 2017. It is an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional road paving materials.
- Molded and extruded products, such as mats, garbage cans, flooring and landscaping, and playground mulch are top re-use applications in the ground rubber market.