Researchers Find Use For Recovered Carbon In Batteries
Researchers at the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE)'s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), have found positive results in the use of carbon recovered from scrap tires in the manufacture of anodes for lithium-ion batteries.
By modifying the microstructural characteristics of the carbon black material, recovered from scrap tires, a team led by Parans Paranthaman and Amit Naskar is developing a better anode for lithium-ion batteries. An anode is a negatively charged electrode used as a host for storing lithium during charging.
The method has numerous advantages over conventional approaches to making anodes for lithium-ion batteries, the researchers said in a paper published in RSC Advances.
The ORNL technique uses a proprietary pretreatment to recover pyrolytic carbon black material, which is similar to graphite but man-made. When used in anodes of lithium-ion batteries, researchers produced a small, laboratory-scale battery with a reversible capacity that is higher than what is possible with commercial graphite materials.
In fact, after 100 cycles the capacity measures nearly 390 milliamp hours per gram of carbon anode, which exceeds the best properties of commercial graphite. Researchers attribute this to the unique microstructure of the tire-derived carbon.
"This kind of performance is highly encouraging, especially in light of the fact that the global battery market for vehicles and military applications is approaching $78 billion and the materials market is expected to hit $11 billion in 2018," Paranthaman said.
Anodes are one of the leading battery components, with 11 to 15 percent of the materials market share, according to Naskar, who noted that the new method could eliminate a number of hurdles.
"This technology addresses the need to develop an inexpensive, environmentally benign carbon composite anode material with high-surface area, higher-rate capability and long-term stability," Naskar said.
ORNL plans to work with U.S. industry to license this technology and produce lithium-ion cells for automobile, stationary storage, medical and military applications.
Other researchers and co-authors of a paper titled “Tailored Recovery of Carbons from Waste Tires for Enhanced Performance as Anodes in Lithium-Ion Batteries,” are working on a pilot manufacturing process to scale up the recovery of material and demonstrate applications as anodes for lithium-ion batteries in large-format pouch cells. Researchers expect these batteries to be less expensive than those manufactured with commercial carbon powders.
The research on conversion of recycled tires to graphite powders was funded by the laboratory’s Technology Innovation Program while the research on battery fabrication and electrochemical testing was sponsored by DOE’s Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Sciences and Engineering Division. Transmission electron microscopy research was supported by ORNL’s Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, a DOE Office of Science user facility.
© Scrap Tire News, October 2014
Michigan DEQ Awards Grants For Scrap Tire Reuse
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is awarding $2.5 million dollars in grant money to University and local government recipients for road projects that reuse scrap tires.
The largest grants -- $1.2-million dollars to Michigan Technological University (MTU) and $500,000 to Michigan State University (MSU) are for research projects that will study specific uses and characteristics of rubber modified asphalt.
MTU will in one project produce low emission crumb rubber modified asphalt and warm mix asphalt in a wet and dry process. MTU researchers will evaluate the performance of the material to determine any differences between production methods.
In a second project they will collect and analyze emissions from the production process and analyze those, DEQ's Mike Marshall said.
MSU will pave a control section of rubber modified asphalt (RMA) and compare the RMA to both a control standard asphalt and a crumb rubber dry mix.
Both projects will pave county roads, Marshall said. The MSU project will be in Ingham County and MTU plans various locations in both the Upper Peninsula and the Northern Lower Peninsula.
Other communities receiving grants include Lapeer and Saginaw counties, the Village of Birch Run and cities of Clio, St. Clair, St. Johns and Vassar.
The village of Birch Run along with the cities of Clio and Vassa will each do two rubberized asphalt projects.
The city of St. Clair will use it's $113,000 grant to fix segments of three streets and the parking lot of a skate park.
The city will provide a 100 percent match, which brings the total cost of work to $226,000. Money for the match is coming from the city's local streets fund for the street improvements and from the recreation funds for the parking lot, city officials said.
"We're going to do this and put together a road program, do some crack sealing and hopefully whittle away at the same problem every Michigan community has: poor roads and no money to fix them," St. Clair Mayor Bill Cedar said.
© Scrap Tire News, September 2014
Legislators Announce State-Wide Changes to Georgia's Scrap Tire Regulations
Georgia Sen. Nan Orrock (D-Atlanta) and State Rep. Pat Gardner (D-Atlanta) held a press conference at the Capitol on July 8 to educate Georgians on updated regulations of Georgia's scrap tire law. Sen. Orrock and Rep. Gardner were joined by Atlanta City Council members Joyce Sheperd and Felicia Moore, as well as other state policy makers.
"State laws have been strengthened to better track the storage, hauling, and disposing of used tires," Sen. Orrock said. "And we are very committed to assist cities and counties to curb illegal scrap tire dumps that threaten neighborhoods and property values," she said.
House Bill 226 was originally introduced in the Georgia House by State Rep. Randy Nix (R - LaGrange) and grew out of local legislation created by Councilmember Sheperd to combat illegal tire dumping in Atlanta. HB 226 was passed by the 2013 Georgia General Assembly during in 2013 session and became state law April 30, 2013. New regulations clarify the use and placement of carrier and storage decals.
According to the new rules, persons collecting or transporting scrap or used tires must have a tire carrier permit and display a decal on their vehicles, including trailers. Also, the carriers and scrap tire processors must have a minimum $10,000 surety bond.
Under the new storage requirements, scrap tires must be stored in a locked enclosure or otherwise adequately secured to prevent unauthorized access, unless the Environmental Protection Department grants a waiver.
"The legislation was needed because an estimated 10 million vehicle tires are discarded in Georgia every year," said Atlanta City Councilmember Joyce Sheperd. "My colleagues and I are confronted with illegal dump sites weekly. Literally thousands of tires are collected in the city along in vacant lots, abandoned subdivisions and along our rivers and streams. It's not just a problem impacting Atlanta. It's a pervasive problem across our state. I commend our state house and senate representatives for providing us with what can be an effective statewide tool to regulate the transport and storage of scrap tires, in hopes of further cracking down on illegal tire dumpers."
The deadline for existing carriers to obtain this decal is August 1, 2014. A summary of the new carrier and storage requirements are available on the Georgia Environmental Protection Division website.
© Scrap Tire News, August 2014
Illinois Passes Used Tire Legislation
On the first anniversary of a massive tire fire at a commercial used tire processing facility in Hoopeston, Governor Pat Quinn signed legislation on June 19, 2014 to re-establish funding for Illinois’ used tire market development program and place stricter controls on large used tire storage and processing facilities.
"Had this new law been in effect more than a year ago, we may have been able to avoid a fire that burned in Vermilion County for more than a month and took five months to clean up," Governor Quinn said. "This new law protects the environment and homeowners, and helps find alternative uses for used tires."
"This bill provides the Illinois EPA with clearly defined enforcement authority to ensure these facilities are meeting requirements to protect Illinois residents," Illinois EPA Director Lisa Bonnett said. "The Illinois EPA will also be able to initiate a market development program for used tires, resulting in increased economic activity and job creation."
Funding for Illinois' used tire market development program was terminated in 2003 due to the existence of large tire-derived fuel (TDF) markets and the perception that Illinois had created a stable market for used tires that was sufficient for all of Illinois’ current used tire generation.
However, due to several factors, including the recession, Illinois’ TDF markets have largely collapsed and there are very few other markets to make up for the market reduction in TDF. Illinois was once the home to three cement kilns and three large power plants that burned TDF. However, all six of those facilities have ceased the consumption of TDF.
Under this legislation, it is the intention of Illinois EPA to pursue the creation of diverse and established used tire markets that include TDF, civil engineering applications using tire-derived aggregate (TDA), ground rubber production and end users, and rubber-modified asphalt (RMA).
Illinois believes the existence of strong in-state used tire markets will improve the performance and environmental compliance of commercial used tire processors, as well as tire retailers, by providing viable and diverse markets to supply with their products.
This new law also establishes stricter environmental requirements for large used tire storage/processing facilities by requiring them to obtain a solid waste management permit to operate in Illinois.
Additionally, the law provides the state with enhanced enforcement authority whereby those facilities that do not comply with the established financial assurance requirements can be ordered to immediately cease operations to prevent a greater threat to public health and the environment.
The law also mandates the Illinois EPA submit a proposed rulemaking to the Illinois Pollution Control Board (IPCB) to update Illinois’ used tire management standards within six months and mandates the IPCB publish the new rules within nine months of receipt of the proposed rulemaking. This action is critical to ensure the used tire statutes and regulations are consistent in Illinois and to avoid any issues impeding the enforcement process related to used tire facilities operating in Illinois.
Over the past 20 years, Illinois has experienced six major tire fires, all at commercial processing facilities. Effective implementation and enforcement of this new law should prevent, or diminish the likelihood of, similar situations from occurring in the future.
© Scrap Tire News, July 2014
Temporary Reprieve For Ontario's Scrap Tire Program
A Provincial budget impasse has left Ontario's tire recycling program intact, for now.
With Ontario's political parties at odds over the pending provincial budget, Ontario's prime minister Kathleen Wynne failed to get the support needed for passage and called for new provincial parliamentary elections in June.
Failure to pass the budget put a hold on all unfinished legislative business before the Ontario Parliament, including the rewrite of Ontario's Waste Diversion Act and proposed Bill 91, known as the Waste Reduction Act.
Proposed in June 2013 by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment, Bill 91 would have mandated Individual Producer Responsibility (IPR) requirements for the collection and recycling of all end-of-life products in Ontario, including tires.
The bill would have converted Waste Reduction Ontario, the government corporation created by the previously enacted Waste Reduction Act, to a new Waste Reduction Authority with responsibility to enforce compliance with the IPR program and levy fines and penalties.
As proposed, Bill 91 would put an end to Ontario Tire Stewardship (OTS), the province's industry run scrap tire management program. Among other things, Bill 91 called for significant changes to the OTS funding structure. OTS currently funds it programs through a graduated scale of fees on new tire purchases. The IPR program would have been funded through fees and penalties to be determined later, according to Glenn Maidment, president of the Rubber Association of Canada. The IPR program would have been phased in during 2016 and 2017.
"For now OTS remains unchanged," Maidment said.
While the election is a delay, it will allow Ontario's tire industry to have more input in a new law's provisions, he said. It gives the tire industry as well as the other affected industries time to present ideas for a better diversion program.
In other Ontario scrap tire news, OTS lowered its fee on passenger and light truck tire purchases to $5.43 per tire from the previous $5.69.
This is the second time OTS has issued a fee decrease on passenger and light truck tires, the organization said. When OTS was founded in 2009, the fee on those tires was $5.84. All other tire fees remain as before, OTS said.
OTS also announced that effective July 1, 2014, OTS will be requiring all tire collectors to report used tire volumes to OTS by fully and accurately completing quarterly filings as outlined in the Collector Guidebook. OTS will also host a series of refresher webinars for Collectors looking to “brush-up” on the mechanics of reporting.
© Scrap Tire News, June 2014
California’s Waste Tire Markets
The diversion rate for California waste tires was up in 2013 but markets remain a mixed bag. New market development initiatives are on tap to expand markets.
Tire recyclers, processors, product manufacturers, local and state regulators and other stakeholders got a glimpse of how California’s tire recycling market stacked up in 2013 and what the future may look like at the 2014 Tire Conference hosted by the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) in Sacramento last month.
The well-attended event focused on opportunities and progress in several established CalRecycle grant programs, highlighted the use of tire derived material in its Green Roads program and rolled out a handful of new initiatives aimed at developing new tire derived products in the state. Watch for more about conference findings, results and presentations in future issues of Scrap Tire News.
In June, CalRecycle will release its 2013 California Waste Tire Report. For those attending the conference, Ed Boisson of Boisson Consulting presented a first look at preliminary waste tire market estimates and trends.
Looking at the big picture, Boisson said the state’s diversion rate for 2013 was tracking at 88.1% with reuse, ground rubber and civil engineering markets consuming 31.8% of the 45 million waste tires generated in California in 2013. Export, tire derived fuel (TDF) and alternate daily cover (ADC) markets accounted for 56.3%.
Tire reuse, including retreads and used tires was down from 2012 from a little over 7 million tires to slightly under 6 million. Boisson said increased competition and a change in collector strategies to pick off tires earlier in the collection stream were among the reasons for the dip in tire reuse.
Crumb rubber took the biggest hit in 2013, down 26%, from just over 10 million PTEs to slightly under 8 million PTEs between 2012 and 2013. Soft demand in the main crumb market segments (paving, turf and mulch) coupled with increased competitive pressure from crumb rubber imports from Canada, other states and Europe contributed to the sharp decline, leaving the 2013 crumb trend uncertain, Boisson said.
Civil engineering use down 25%--from about 570,000 PTEs to about 420,000-- is expected to rebound in 2013 with five tire derived aggregate (TDA) landfill projects and two non-landfill (light rail) projects in progress. Alternate daily cover was up 18% over 2012 but expected to end flat in 2013.
Tire derived fuel, up 6% in 2013,--from about 7 million PTEs in 2012 to about 7.5 million PTEs-- is expected to continue to rise in 2014. Boisson said four cement kilns in the state are current tdf users and all four want to increase their use of the fuel. California’s current and projected growth in TDF includes tire derived fuel that is produced in the state and exported to overseas – primarily Asian and Korean- fuel users.
After a dramatic rise in waste tire exports from 2007 to 2012, California’s export market is up slightly from 2012 from a little over 15 million PTEs to about 15.7 million PTEs with possible further growth in 2014. Exports, (used tires, waste tires and TDF), accounted for 35% percent of the state’s waste tires in 2013. Of note, Boisson said, six firms in currently export exclusively. Of the 138,000 tons of processed tdf produced in the state in 2013, 48,000 tons were exported.
Coming off a record low in 2012, disposal is up 63% at the state’s top four disposal sites. Boisson expects a possible decline in disposal in 2014. The recent fall and rise of disposal activity is largely tied to export market trends as well as the softening demand in the state’s major crumb rubber markets, Boisson said.
Looking forward, Boisson said established processors are adjusting operations to these new market realities and finding opportunities for both growth and profitability. But needs remain, he said. Sustained tire derived product (TDP) standards and quality initiatives are particularly important for ongoing development of new markets and expansion of existing ones, Boisson said.
© Scrap Tire News, May 2014
TDA Projects Capture Grant Funds
First non-landfill use of TDA in California opens new opportunities
The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) recently recommended $646,371 for two Category 1 Lightweight Fill projects. These are the first non-landfill projects under the TDA (tire derived aggregate) program, the agency said.
The Butte County Association of Governments (BCAG) will use 1,100 tons --110,000 passenger tire equivalents (PTEs) -- as lightweight fill for gravel replacement for a storm water bioretention trenching application. The trenches will be located in the landscape areas around the proposed building and parking lots and collect storm water runoff to keep it from discharging off the property.
The project, which will be located in Chico, California, was awarded $85,750 in grant money.
Napa County will use 7,350 tons (735,000 PTEs) as lightweight fill under a roadway for a landslide repair project on Mount Veeder Road,several miles southwest of Yountville. County officials said the $560,621 grant will allow engineers to target saturated and unstable soils under the road that are sliding down causing the roadway to fail and creating a dangerous driving condition. The use of TDA will result in an unsaturated and stable road with less earthwork than a conventional remediation alternative.
The TDA Grant program was allocated $1.7 million for 2014, but these two approved projects will use less than $650,000 leaving over $1 million for reallocation to other tire programs this spring.
CalRecycle's Howard Levenson said that CalRecycle was at the "beginning of the curve on the product, much like the state was on rubberized asphalt concrete some fifteen years ago."
CalRecycle is still trying to get the word out on TDA, its cost benefits and applications, he said.
© Scrap Tire News, April 2014
More Recycled Materials Used In Asphalt
The National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA), Lanham, MD reports that a survey of the U.S. asphalt pavement industry finds that close to 25 percent of the asphalt mixtures manufactured in the 2012 construction season were produced using warm-mix asphalt (WMA) technologies.
The survey, conducted by NAPA under contract to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), found that the 1,141 U.S. asphalt plants queried produced about 86.7 million tons of WMA during the 2012 construction season, a 416 percent increase in the use of warm mix since the survey was first conducted in 2009.
For the first time, the 2012 survey also asked about the use of ground tire rubber, steel and blast furnace slags, and other recycled materials. More than 1 million tons of these recycled materials were incorporated into asphalt mixtures in 2012.
The survey also found that about 68.3 million tons of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP) and 1.86 million tons of recycled asphalt shingles (RAS) were used in new asphalt pavement mixes in the United States during the 2012 construction season. For the first time since the start of this survey in 2009, the amount of RAP and RAS used by producers exceeded the amount collected, the NAPA notes.
© Scrap Tire News, March 2014
California Budget Changes Include RAC Funding
The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) provides a Rubberized Pavement Grant Program to promote markets for recycled-content surfacing products derived from waste tires generated in California. This program was changed in October 2013 when Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 513 (Frazier). This bill established the Rubberized Asphalt Concrete Market Development Act - a grant program to help cities, counties and regional agencies offset the cost of asphalt rubber overlay in road rehabilitation and maintenance projects. Grants will be awarded at a minimum of $2 for every 12 pounds of crumb rubber used (approximately the weight of one passenger tire). Funding will come from the Tire Fund, which receives revenue from the fee charged on the sale of new tires in California.
In one of its first meetings in 2014, CalRecycle reported that among the items to be discussed in Governor Brown’s FY 2014/15 state budget is a Budget Change Proposal (BCP) dealing with the RAC Market Development Act. The BCP resulted from a lack of appropriation in last year’s AB 513. The BCP puts $5.16 million into the new grant program for asphalt rubber awards to cities, counties, and state and local government agencies, including regional park districts to fund disability access at parks and Class 1 bikeways. The parks component is new and was added to the bill by Assembly Member Wesley Chesbro.
Originally, the new RAC Grants were to fund projects at $2 per 12 pounds of crumb rubber used. However, the BCP suggests that it increase the funding by 50 percent to $3 per 12 pounds of crumb rubber. The $5.16 million includes 1.5 additional staff to help CalRecycle administer the program.
While the past grant program divided grant moneys into separate pools for new users and current users, the new program does not. Under AB 513 RAC Grants are open to applicants in jurisdictions that have already received such grants. Active users of RAC will be allowed to compete equally for grants against those communities that have never tried the technology.
In compiling a list of "pros and cons" as required for the BCP, CalRecycle cautions that “such a significant expansion may put short-term pressures on crumb rubber pricing until production can be increased to satisfy new demand."
According to the California Tire Report, the BCP, along with other proposals, will be discussed in Senate and Assembly Budget Committee hearings this winter and spring. The budget is supposed to be passed by both houses of the Legislature and sent to the Governor by June 15, 2014. He is supposed to sign it by June 30, 2014.
Since FY 2003/04, CalRecycle and its predecessor CIWMB, have awarded $62 million in RAC pavement grants, amounting to the recycling of about 8 million passenger tires.
© Scrap Tire News, February 2014
Kentucky Tire Recycling Grants Available
The Kentucky Energy and Environment Cabinet is accepting grant proposals for projects that promote the use of recycled waste tires for athletic fields, playgrounds and other crumb rubber applications.
The cabinet will consider funding research and development proposals for experimental practices or technologies that further the statutory purposes of the waste tire program or that will help develop a market for Kentucky waste tires.
Grant funding comes from the Waste Tire Trust Fund, which receives its revenue from fees collected from new tire sales.
Submit applications and supporting documents to the Division of Waste Management, Frankfort, KY.
© Scrap Tire News, January 2014
Rubberized Asphalt Today: A Changing Legacy
Highway and road engineers have added recycled tire rubber, to modify and improve asphalt for more than 40 years. Two important events in October showcased the growing domestic and global reach of rubberized asphalt and took a step in ending “legacy thinking” about rubber modified asphalt pavements.
Ending legacy thinking is about breaking out of the comfort zone. It’s about learning. And it’s about adapting to new technologies and new ways of doing things.
A glance through the presentations at the Recycled Rubber Products Technology Conference held in Las Vegas and the 6th Rubber Modified Asphalt Conference in Phoenix, AZ provides a roundup of the ways rubberized asphalt is enhancing performance, saving money, improving safety, reducing noise and making its mark as a green technology in a mounting number of U.S. states, European countries and cities, Russia, Poland and the Far East.
In “10 Changes in 10 Years” Michael Blumenthal, Vice President, Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) summarizes some of the new concepts and approaches that are helping end legacy thinking about rubber in asphalt. These include warm mix technology, terminal blends using rubber and performance grade rubber modified asphalt.
In 2003, ten states were using rubber modified asphalt (RMA). In 2013, 25 states are using RMA. In 2003, rubberized asphalt was mostly used in the U.S. In 2013, it’s used worldwide.
Rubberized asphalt is changing in other ways. States are beginning to look at asphalt products that have rubber and PG grading of asphalt rubber and rubberized asphalt, George Way, Chair of the Rubberized Asphalt Foundation (RAF) said. Also, the types of rubberized asphalt are changing, he said. There’s asphalt rubber, a product that technically has more than 15 percent recycled tire rubber (RTR); rubberized asphalt, a premium grade product with 8-12 percent RTR; rubberized asphalt hybrid with 7 percent RTR and 2 percent polymer; and rubberized asphalt super activated material, a dry granulate 30 mesh activated rubber “ready to go” into asphalt.
How we talk about using rubber in asphalt is changing too, Blumenthal said. “Field blend” and “terminal blend” don’t really describe the products any more. Terminal blend products can be “field blended” and field blend products can be produced at an asphalt terminal. More descriptive terms are being used to identify products and clarify their handling. For example, rubberized asphalt products may can be offered as “particulate” binders and “non-particulate” binders available on demand or bulk storage.
The rubberized asphalt industry now has access to two high quality, highly respected organizations. The Rubberized Asphalt Foundation , founded last year, looks to progressive science, sustainable engineering and practical applications to raise awareness and broaden the use of rubberized asphalt. The long-established Rubber Pavements Association (RPA), Tempe, AZ is targeting savings, not only in dollars but in natural resources and reduced CO2 emissions, in its new messaging to the industry and the driving public.
Both groups are key to driving interaction between industry, departments of transportation and state agencies to continue education and dialogue about new and proven technologies and ways of using rubber modified asphalts.
And, the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) is looking to these groups for things like material usage tools, construction guidelines, technical support for updating rubber modified best practices, and support for the development of technical and other information, FHWA Recycling Coordinator Victor Gallivan said.
© Scrap Tire News, December 2013
CalRecycle Launching A New Tire Incentive Program (TIP)
The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) is launching a new Tire Incentive Program (TIP) grant with a $1.8 million allocation for this fiscal year (2013/14). The goal of the pilot grant program which has potential awards up to $500,000 is to "expand commercial demand for different high value-added tire-derived products (TDPs) by providing financial incentives to eligible manufacturers to more competitively price and market their TDPs, thereby increasing sales and market share." A greater incentive will be paid to encourage feedstock conversion (substituting crumb rubber for virgin rubber). In addition, there will be an incentive to encourage the use of "finer" (<60 mesh) material and/or for rubber co-extruded/injected with plastic or other materials.
© Scrap Tire News, November 2013
State Grants Help Repave Michigan Streets
Clio, Michigan repaved twelve streets in the city last month with rubberized asphalt. Funding for the projects came from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality's (DEQ) Scrap Tire Market Development program. The DEQ Scrap Tire grant reimburses up to 50 percent of construction costs for repaving projects. The city then pays for engineering services.
Clio received two grants in 2012 in the amount of $139,122 and $142,175 totaling $281,297 for street improvements using asphalt mix that contains recycled tire crumb rubber. City officials said the funding allowed them to address some of the worst streets in the city.
Streets selected for re-paving had the existing asphalt and base removed and pulverized to be incorporated in a new compacted base. The new pavement was laid on the compacted base in two courses--a base course and a rubberized wear course. The rubberized asphalt mix used in the wear course contained recycled tire crumb rubber from about 2,600 tires, officials said.
The newly paved streets have a life expectancy of 15 years, but proper maintenance could extend that, city officials said.
The city was also awarded a third grant from MDEQ in the amount of $101,500 to be used for future improvements to other city roads in 2014.
© Scrap Tire News, October 2013
Florida Updates Rubber Binder Specification
A single update in its binder specifications is allowing the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) to use the same amount of ground tire rubber - if not more - as it has in the past. The July 2013 specification is geared more toward performance-based specifications, FDOT Bituminous Engineering Specialist Tanya Nash said in an interview with the Maryland-based Rubberized Asphalt Foundation (RAF).
The previous specification for FDOT rubber binder (ARB-5 and ARB-12) was a basic "dump and stir" methodology, Nash said. There was no real performance indication of either binder. "The only property that was monitored was viscosity and that was not really telling us much," she said.
Over time, Nash said, polymer modified (SBS) binders have become the "gold standard" of performance binders for the department, typically a PG 76-22. Therefore, the idea of being able to create a binder that could compete in performance - but using ground tire rubber - became the new goal for the FDOT. "The idea is to use the ground tire rubber and get a performance binder out of it at the same time," Nash said. The option to polymer modify the PG 76-22 (ARB) has also been added. This allows the polymer and the ground tire rubber to work together to create a performance binder. The number one complaint the industry has about using rubber binder is the issue of settlement in the storage tanks at the plant. With this new spec, the department now has a separation requirement for PG 76-22 (ARB) to help alleviate this problem.
The FDOT recently placed four test sections using the new PG 76-22 (ARB):
- US 19 - Hernando County (450 tons)
- US 19/US27 - Jefferson County (500 tons)
- SR 20 - Leon County (800 tons)
- SR 704 - Palm Beach County (450 tons)
FDOT set up monitoring and binder sample testing procedures for the projects with some specific goals in mind, Nash said. On the testing side, the binder was sampled at the time the transport was loaded for each test section.
This sample was split between the supplier and the FDOT for testing based on the requirements in the new July 2013 specification. The binder was sampled again sometime during the project. For the first three projects, the plant opted to pump the binder directly from the transport. For the fourth project, the plant had pumped the binder into their storage tank. The binder sample taken during the project is to check for possible cross-contamination and the effects on the binder properties, Nash said.
"During construction, we are looking for constructability issues - pumpability through the plant, workability of the mix, compaction (effort and issues), and temperatures. All the typical construction practices were monitored for possible differences in handling and indicators of performance," Nash said.
Going forward, Nash said, it is difficult to predict how many projects will use the new binder. For existing projects, the contractor will have the option to change from ARB-5 or ARB-12 to the new PG 76-22 (ARB) at no cost to the department. It's hard to say if it would be cost efficient to the contractor to do so, but the intent is for projects from July 1, 2013 and on for PG 76-22 (ARB) to replace the use of ARB-5 and ARB-12. According to FDOT, the PG 76-22 (ARB) and PG 76-22 (PMA) will not be freely interchangeable at this time. Ultimately, the department is heading in a market driven direction and will just specify a PG 76-22 modified binder, with the process of modification up to the contractor.
The FDOT produces approximately 5 million tons of hot mix asphalt a year. As a rough approximation, about 60 percent of the 5 million tons uses modified binder, SBS or GTR. Of that 60 percent, about 15 percent of the tonnage is GTR.
© Scrap Tire News, September 2013
ASTM Considers Rubberized Asphalt at Summer Meeting
Proposals to change the definition of the term “asphalt-rubber” to include a wide variety of materials containing recycled tire rubber (RTR) took center stage at the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International summer meeting held in June in Indianapolis, IN.
A goal for some was to create an umbrella term for asphalt materials with an RTR component. However, the term asphalt-rubber conveys very specific meaning with respect to material properties that are described in “ASTM D6114 / D6114M – 09 Standard Specification for Asphalt-Rubber Binder," committee members said. The creation of a new term “rubberized asphalt” was recommended by the committee.
A primary distinguishing characteristic of asphalt-rubber is the minimum apparent viscosity of 1.5 Pascal seconds (1500 centipoise) at 175°C, George Way, President of the Rubberized Asphalt Foundation (RAF) said. Way attended the ASTM subcommittee D4.91 meeting along with RAF Directors Mark Belshe of the Rubber Pavements Association and Doug Carlson of Liberty Tire Recycling The addition of RTR to a heated binder causes a swelling and gelling of the rubber particles that thicken the binder, building viscosity. The high viscosity allows asphalt-rubber to be used as an engineering tool in asphalt paving systems to increase the application rate on spray-applied systems to build a thicker sealant membrane or to increase binder contents in mixtures that will resist drain-down during construction and placement in order to boost fatigue resistance or long-term performance, Way explained.
A consensus was reached to update terminology related to rubberized asphalt through the adoption of new standards for performance graded rubberized asphalt binders where RTR is used as a modifier to enhance high temperature performance and greater resistance to rutting under heavy traffic loading conditions. New standards for RTR additives in mixtures, types of modifications, mix performance testing, and quality control were also recommended.
Committee members Way and Belshe noted that much work still needs to be done to introduce and advance asphalt materials and specifications that beneficially use RTR. Volunteers are welcome to join ASTM to participate and help develop the needed standards, they said.
© Scrap Tire News, August 2013
Nebraska DEQ Awards $1.9 Million For Tire Recycling Projects
Tracks and sports fields get more than half of this year's grants.
The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has awarded $1.93 million to support 101 tire recycling and cleanup projects across the state. Among the largest awards the city of Columbus received a $118,460.25 grant to reimburse a portion of the cost of an artificial turf football field and athletic running track surface using recycled tire rubber. In total, 374,000 pounds of recycled tire rubber were used on the Columbus projects.
The grant money comes from a $1 fee that is assessed on every new tire purchase in the state.
The grants are part of the Waste Reduction and Recycling grants program and support both the collection of scrap tires and the purchase of new tire-derived products.
This year, for the first time, more than half - about $1.1 million - of the grant funding went to schools for sports-related projects including new artificial turf sports fields and running tracks.
This marks a move away from rubberized asphalt which in the past received a major portion of the state grants to supplement the higher cost of paving with rubber, NDEQ officials said. With the cost of paving with rubber now equal to or less than the cost of traditional asphalt paving in the state, the need to incentivize highway projects has diminished, according to the NDEQ.
In addition to the City of Columbus, four other grants of more than $100,000 went to projects that include synthetic turf field installations.
Two colleges in the state and three additional school systems also received grants ranging from $25,000 to $88,000 for artificial turf fields.
Grants for community scrap tire collections, rubber playground mats, and rubber mulch as well as for the use of crumb rubber in molded products also saw an increase in the 2013 grant round.
© Scrap Tire News, July 2013
Mass. GreenDOT Implementation Plan Includes Rubberized Asphalt
Following two years of research, collaboration and public dialogue, the Massachussetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) launched the GreenDOT Implementation Plan in December 2012, establishing 15 broad sustainability goals to decrease resource use, minimize ecological impacts, and improve public health outcomes.
Each goal is supported by three to five tasks to be implemented over the next eight years. These tasks are then followed by specific indicators, which identify implementation time horizons and divisions responsible for implementation.
Rubberized asphalt will be used increasingly through 2015 to meet the goals related to improved life-cycle impacts.
MassDOT has successfully used rubberized asphalt as a thin rehabilitation surface since 2008. The 1.25-inch asphalt-rubber gap grade surfacing takes advantage of the highly modified binder's ability to resist reflective cracking in a reduced thickness application.
The reduced thickness concept for mixes with asphalt rubber binder was originally developed by the California DOT (CALTRANS) in the mid 1990s. The reduced thickness design was later verified by the Federal Highway Administration Accelerated Loading Facility Pooled Fund Study at the Turner Fairbank Highway Research Center in McLean VA.
The heavy rubber loading in the binder of 16-22 percent by weight of the liquid provides millions of discreet rubber particles in the binder system in each ton of mix that simply do not crack. This technique utilizes the engineering properties of the tire rubber in particulate form to inhibit and slow the progression of reflective cracking, according to the Rubberized Asphalt Foundation (RAF).
The rocks in the mix do not crack and confine the crack to the binder in between the rocks. As a crack begins to move through the binder in an asphalt mix, the crack is continuously impeded by the rubber particles loaded into the binder system, and the crack must find another way to get around the rubber.
More innovations with rubberized asphalt are expected in Massachusetts this year as the DOT raises the bar for sustainability, cost effectiveness and quality in its materials for use in highway paving projects, the RAF said.
© Scrap Tire News, June 2013
Commercializing the U.S. Scrap Tire Industry
Over the years scrap tire markets have evolved. A processing infrastructure that is intricate, capable and, at times fragile, has been built. Scrap tires move around the country every day through the smallest villages, the mega cities and in sprawling urban neighborhoods.
This network that is the scrap tire industry is collection, transportation, processing, sales of end products, equipment, parts and labor. Everything and everyone that touches the tire has a cost associated. So how do we talk about the size of the scrap tire industry in number of dollars annually?
Scrap Tire News asked a small group of industry stakeholders who together represent 145 years experience in the scrap tire industry. Our informal but informed survey points to an industry valued at more than $1.4 billion dollars annually.
Using numbers from the 2013 Scrap Tire & Rubber Users Directory the tire market is about 308 million tires. The replacement market represents about 265 million of that quantity when you consider passenger, light truck, medium truck and heavy duty truck tires. Replacement market tires are generally the tires that enter the scrap tire stream.
When the consumer leaves a tire with the dealer or installer, the dealer charges the customer a fee for that service. It is not uncommon today for that fee to be in the $3.00 per tire range. This fee alone represents $795 million in annual revenue.
The scrap tire is then collected from the generator by a tire transporter or the scrap is delivered to a processor. In either case there is a collection/tipping fee involved. If that collection fee averages $1.00 per tire, which is quite accurate for passenger and light truck, the revenue generated from that fee is another $265 million.
The used tire market is about 12 percent of the scrap tires generated. Twelve percent of 265 million tires is about 32 million used tires. If we value used tires at an average price of $6.50 per used tire, the used tire market is about $192 million.
The average price for TDF is $25 per ton putting the revenue from TDF at $38 million dollars. Ground rubber has an average price of $250 per ton generating revenue of $137.5 million dollars per year. For civil engineering, the average price is about $20 per ton. This leads to a civil engineering revenue of $5 million dollars.
A summary of the revenue stream for collection fees/processing fees and market sales delivers the following commercial value:
The equipment side of the business, which includes processing equipment sales, maintenance, and parts is very difficult to capture but knowledgeable equipment and processing stakeholders estimate a $50 million dollar value for processing machinery while wear parts, based on current capacities, indicate $15 million for tdf processing and $22 million for ground rubber processing.
In addition, most scrap tire collectors are in the transportation business in terms of equipment (tractors/trailers, box vans and storage containers. This has a significant expenditure associated with it and helps support the transportation equipment industry.
While only a snapshot, it’s clear that the U.S. scrap tire industry exceeds a Billion Dollars in commercial value.
© Scrap Tire News, May 2013
CalRecycle Approves Five Year Waste Tire Plan
Tire derived product growth is a top priority
California’s new Five Year Plan for Waste Tire Recycllng focuses on permitting and developing a tire-derived product (TDP) infrastructure in California designed to foster growth in a diverse array of products, CalRecycle’s Sally French said at the agency’s March 19 meeting. The California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) approved the plan at the meeting.
The key change in the plan is the Tire Incentive Grant Program, French said It is planned as a pilot project to provide a total of $2 million in grants to manufacturers of new and innovative TDP products. The grants would allow the manufacturers to pass on all or a portion of their incentive payment as a price discount to the purchaser of their product. The incentive can also be used for specific TDP production or selling expenses such as: product development, testing and certification, marketing and increasing awareness of tire derived products in the marketplace.
Commenting on the Tire Incentive Program (TIP) Howard Levenson, Deputy Director of CalRecycle's Materials Management and Local Assistance Division, said that CalRecycle hopes to stimulate new markets with emphasis on products which have not necessarily benefitted from the state’s traditional TDP Grant Program and/or feedstock conversion projects. He expressed confidence that the Program’s pilot status will ensure that it will be closely monitored for successes and failures.
Levenson summarized spending expectations under the five year plan noting that the total amount spent per year for all the programs in the Plan would be reduced to about $32.5 million, primarily because the state has reduced CalRecycle's expenditure authority. In past years, funding for tire programs approached $40 million annually. According to the CA Tire Bulletin, the reduced funding may not change much in the near future because in 2015 the revenue from the fee on new tire sales is expected to drop to around $30 million annually from the current $40 million. California’s tire fee is set to go from $1.75 per tire to $0.75 on January 1, 2015, thus the drop in revenue.
It is also estimated that CalRecycle is owed about $27 million from the State Legislature from past loans. By law, the Legislature is required to repay all loans to state entities it borrows from. Additionally, CalRecycle has some "tens of millions of dollars" in its reserve Fund Balance. All told, the department may use some or all of the funds in the loans (once they are repaid) and its own reserves to bolster the reduced revenue from annual new tire sales, Levenson said.
© Scrap Tire News, April 2013
Kentucky Waste Tire Program
2012 Report logs successes, compiles market growth
Kentucky's statewide recycling rate remained steady at 80 percent compared to 81 percent for 2011, while the number of tires presented for amnesty cleanup declined, according to the 2012 Waste Tire Program Report. In addition to market and tire pile cleanup information, the Report covers issues that have arisen in 2012 and makes recommendations for improvements to the program.
To jump start the recycling rate in the short-term, the Report recommends the Commonwealth work to increase the in-state tire derived fuel (TDF) market and in the long-term through the diversification of markets. Tdf applications in Kentucky include use in boilers at paper mills, cement kilns and utilities that use whole or processed tires as a supplemental energy source.
Strong TDF Market
Currently about 2.1 million Kentucky-generated PTEs (passenger tire equivalent, i.e. 20 lbs.) are annually used for tdf at three in-state facilities. Owensboro Municipal Utility (OMU) used 362,000 PTEs in 2012 to generate electricity. Under the waste tire program, Kentucky offers fuel users assistance for capital improvements and equipment.
In 2001, Kentucky spent $454.276 on capital equipment to assist OMU in using tdf. The NewPage paper mill located in Ballard County received $750,000 in 2001 to make improvements to its processing infrastructure in order to use 3,750,000 PTEs by 2012. To date, NewPage has used 1,500,000 PTEs and in 2012 requested an extension to the initial deadline to meet the program goal.
Kosmos Cement, a partnership between CEMEX and Lone Star Cement, used 1,295,00 PTEs in 2012. The company uses a unique tire machine, similar to a baseball or softball pitching machine, to toss whole tires into the center of the kiln for a more efficient burning. The reinforcing wire in the tire is incorporated into the clinker.
Air emission testing showed no significant change in emissions from using waste tires and coal as opposed to only coal. In fact, nitrogen oxide emissions, amajor greenhouse gas, were reduced 37 percent when using tdf with coal, the Report said. Kosmos hopes to begin using chips in addition to whole tires to increase its capacity for recovering energy from tires. Including out-of-state use, rubber fuel has increased from approximately 1.1 million PTE per year in 2001 to approximately 3.0 million PTE in 2012.
Steady Crumb Rubber Market
The Kentucky ground rubber market has remained steady over time. Since 2004, The Commonwealth has awarded 315 grants totaling $6.8 million, primarily to schools and municipalities for crumb rubber use on athletic fields to increase turf life and on playgrounds to reduce injuries.
Manufacturing of ground rubber and mulch from Kentucky tires increased from near zero in 1998 to 768,500 PTEs per year in 2012. Liberty Tire (formerly Martin Tire) in Union County manufactures a large quantity of colored mulch for outlets such as Lowes, Home Depot and WalMart. Dalton Tire Recycling in Boyd County produced ground rubber for playground and horse arenas. Porter Tire in Carter County has machinery in-place to produce ground rubber. King Tire Recycling manufactured an intermediate product for playground mulch until a major fire in August 2012 destroyed the plant.
The Report suggests the Commonwealth focus on developing new markets in the state for the use of ground rubber in automotive parts to serve the growing automotive industry in Kentucky. Also, it recommends the Transportation Cabinet explore the use of rubberized asphalt to benefit highway performance and safety and create a high value market for ground tire rubber in the Commonwealth.
Kentucky's waste tire program is funded by a $1.00 per tire fee on new tire sales in the Commonwealth. The tire fee to have sunset on July 31, 2010 but was extended in 2010 and again in 2012 as part of the budget bill. It is now set to expire on June 30, 2014. Revenues from the tire fee are deposited in the Waste Tire Trust Fund which helps support the continued removal of waste tires through amnesties and grants.
During 2012 , the Energy and Environment Cabinet held amnesties in five counties and a development district. During the first six months of FY 2013 the cabinet conducted tire amnesties in the Bluegrass District.
Together the amnesties netted a total of 1,520,643 PTEs for a cost of $1,623,568. According to the Report, tire amnesties have reduced PTE collections 38 percent allowing the cabinet to move from a four year cycle to a three year cycle for tire amnesties and pass the savings from reduced amnesty costs directly to counties to assist them in addressing waste tires annually.
Since FY 2011, the cabinet has made $3,000 per year available to counties to transport, dispose or recycle waste tires. The counties spent $259,484 to dispose or recycle 252,883 PTEs. Also in FY 2012, the cabinet used Waste tire Fund monies to remediate 56,931 PTEs from four orphan tire piles at a cost of $53,458.
During 2012 the cabinet worked with Simpson County to complete the remediation of a tire processing facility that went bankrupt in the early 1990s leaving a significant amount of tire shreds on the site. The cabinet awarded a grant to Simpson County to remove and properly dispose or recycled the tire shreds. A total of 804,728 PTEs were removed at a cost of $814,483.
Since 2011, a Waste Tire Working Group (WTWG) has been advising and working with the cabinet to identify ways to improve the waste tire program. In 2012, the legislature moved to add members to the WTWG including a county judge/executive, mayor and a retail tire business representative. The WTWG worked with the cabinet in 2012 to develop and update four informational waste tire fact sheets.
© Scrap Tire News, March 2013
EPA Finalizes TDF Rule
The U.S. Protection Agency (EPA) issued a revised rule December 20, 2012 for the use of non-hazardous secondary materials as fuel. Under the original 2011 rule, EPA determined it would not regulate tire-derived fuel (tdf) as a hazardous waste and said that metal-free tdf and "scrap tire obtained under approved tire management programs" qualified as fuel rather solid waste.
The revision expands the definition of approved tire management programs to include the tdf use of tire makers off-specification tires that were never used on vehicle as well as their factory scrap. Also allowed are scrap tires from "public collection program events" such as "amnesty days." Before, approved programs were those in which scrap tires were managed and collected under state scrap tire laws or corporate management programs.
© Scrap Tire News, February 2013
Alabama Tire Processing Center To Open In Early 2013
A tire processing plant being built by the Coffee County (AL) Solid Waste Authority will open in early 2013 after some changes were made to the plant's design.
According to Rod Morgan, county administrator and the president of the Coffee County Solid Waste Authority, discussions with a private-sector company revealed some "modifications" to the plant's operational design that would improve the plant's effectiveness.
County officials sought to implement the changes, and the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) approved the modifications. ADEM is reimbursing the county for all costs associated with the plant's construction and must approve all budgeting items.
Morgan said the changes have not forced the budget past the original $5.8 million ADEM set aside for the project.
The changes have delayed the plant's opening. When the project first started in June, officials hoped to have the plant functioning by late October or early November. Now, the project should be finished "sometime after the first of the year," Morgan said.
The county has advertised two jobs related to the plant opening - a manager and a maintenance technician. Morgan said three to four positions will be created by the processor's opening.
When operational, the plant will shred whole scrap tires into smaller pieces that can be re-used in the production of several products, including construction aggregate, asphalt and fuels. The tire shredding plant will also separate, collect and recycle all of the tire wire removed from the scrap tires during processing.
© Scrap Tire News, January 2013
NCAT Study Confirms Benefits of Crumb Rubber in Asphalt
The method of manufacturing crumb rubber, whether cryogenic or ambient, does not impact the performance or quality of rubber asphalt pavements. according to a new study by the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT). The use of recycled tire rubber in asphalt pavement can produce longer lasting road surfaces, reduced road maintenance, lower road noise, shorter breaking distances and add to the long term cost effectiveness of the pavement, the study affirmed.
"We are optimistic that the study findings will accelerate the use of sustainable material in highway construction," says Richard Willis, NCAT's assistant research professor. "By increasing the use of ground tire rubber, asphalt producers will benefit from price stability as compared to more volatile oil prices which impact the cost of traditional, oil-based polymers.
Importantly, ground tire rubber produced cryogenically or ambiently provides high performance and cost benefits in asphalt."
In recent years, as oil prices have risen, the number of states reassessing the potential of GTR mixtures has begun to increase; however, according to NCAT, little research has been published which characterizes the influence of particle size, grinding technique and blending methodology.
The NCAT study addressed these needs and indicates that surface area and particle size of the rubbers had the most influence on the modified asphalt binder -- smaller particle size, which equates to larger surface area, provides better performance.
Based on the study results, researchers also recommend that ground tire rubber should be considered an appropriate asphalt binder modifier to achieve critical high temperature performance in mixtures. Because ambient and cryogenic GTR performed equally in terms of binder modification and separation, specifications should not distinguish between the two types of materials when the GTR is 30 mesh or smaller, researchers said. And, the researchers conclude, ten percent rubber is an appropriate level of loading for asphalt binders.
© Scrap Tire News, December 2012
FTC Releases Revised Green Guides
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has released revised Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, also known as "Green Guides. It's the first time in fourteen years that the FTC has updated the Green Guides which are intended to make sure that consumers get accurate advertising.
The updates include revisions to the existing Green Guides, plus new sections on the use of carbon off-sets, green certifications and seals, and renewable energy and renewable materials claims. It also contains new sections on "free- of" claims, "non-toxic" claims.
The FTC first introduced its guidelines in 1992 to address eight environmental marketing claims: general environmental benefit; degradable, biodegradable or photodegradable; compostable; recyclable; recycled content; source reduction; refillable; ozone safe; and ozone friendly. The Green Guides are not agency rules or regulations. Instead, they describe the types of environmental claims the FTC may or may not find deceptive.
There are more than 400 green certification systems and eco-friendly labels in a variety of industries, making it difficult to determine which company is "green" and which company is "greenwashing." Two of the more notable green certifications are Green Seal in the U.S. and Canada’s EcoLogo.
© Scrap Tire News, November 2012
Pennsylvania Gets Out Front With Rubberized Asphalt
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (Penn DOT) launched a project last month to evaluate the long term performance of a warm mix asphalt rubber gap-graded (AR-GG) mix on the surface pavement layer of a high volume traffic road.
The project drew interest from stakeholders from across several disciplines including asphalt, engineering, tire recycling, pavement research and testing who joined Penn DOT officials for a project briefing and tour hosted by project contractor All States Materials Group (ASMG).
The September 24 briefing included a tour of the asphalt rubber blending operation and mix production at Lebanon Materials in Annville and placement and compaction of the rubberized asphalt mix on I-78 in Berks County, PA.
DOT officials from neighboring Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey also participated in the tour. Delaware and New Jersey are using rubberized asphalt and Massachusetts has been incorporating recycled tire rubber in its paving mix for the last two years, Mark Belshe, Executive Director of the Rubber Pavements Association and an attendee at the project briefing said.
"The PennDOT project is significant because it marks a continuation of the use of asphalt rubber in the eastern region of the U.S.," Belshe said.
For the project, PennDOT placed a warm mix asphalt rubber gap-graded (AR-GG) mix on the wearing course of a five-mile section of I-78 in Annville. Two layers of 1.5 inch of AR-GG surface course material were placed on the eastbound lanes of the high volume road.
The heavily traveled road has an average daily traffic volume of 18, 438 vehicles. Thirty-eight percent of which is truck traffic, according to Penn DOT.
"The result of this research project and follow up testing is to document, observe and quantify the long term performance benefits of asphalt rubber," Mark Edsall of ASMG’s Technical Marketing Division said.
A ten-year formal evaluation of the AR-GG wearing course will be conducted. A decision on approval or disapproval of the use of AR-GG will be made three years after final placement of the asphalt mix; sooner if the evaluation warrants, Edsall said. The project includes a control section paved with a conventional warm mix asphalt (no crumb rubber) material.
Warm mix asphalt (WMA) reduces the high mixing temperatures of regular hot mix asphalt. Its benefits are reduction in energy consumption during production and reduced emissions during production and placement. WMA also offers contractors the ability to pave at lower temperatures, extending the paving season.
Materials testing will be conducted at the conclusion of the project, Edsall said. Three different research universities (UMASS Dartmouth, Rutgers University and Arizona State University ) have already requested test quantities of both the AR-GG surface mix and the control mix to do their own lab testing, Edsall said.
On another note, Edsall said the Transportation Research Board is also recognizing the interest in rubberized asphalt and is devoting a session solely to rubberized asphalt at its annual meeting in Washington, D.C. in January.
The project used about 17,000 tons of AR-GG mix including 500,000 pounds of crumb rubber produced by Pittsburgh, PA-based Liberty Tire Recycling. According to ASMG, the addition of 15 to 20 percent of crumb rubber material to a warm mix asphalt can improve resistance to rutting and cracking and increase long-term durability of the pavement overall.
© Scrap Tire News, October 2012
CalRecycle Posts Market Report
The California Department of Resources, Recovery and Recycling (CalRecycle) has posted the 2011 California Waste Tire Market Report to its website.
The Market Report discusses key trends in California's tire recycling market based on information gathered early in 2012. CalRecycle held a workshop on the preliminary findings in April focusing mostly on the export of tires to China and other countries which was the predominant trend in 2011.
Overall the report showed there were more ups than downs in the market starting with the waste tire diversion rate which increased significantly from 81.0 percent in 2010 to 87.8 percent in 2011. This increase was largely a result of the continued, unprecedented rapid growth in the export of waste tires to Pacific Rim nations, largely for use as tire-derived fuel (TDF), which is now the largest single end-use destination for California waste tires.
In addition the domestic reuse markets for both truck tire retreads and used passenger tires were up in 2011. Ground rubber markets increased slightly, while civil engineering (CE) applications declined significantly, as did use of TDF. Given sustained export increases and generally stable to growing domestic recycling markets, it appears likely that CalRecycle will achieve its 90 percent diversion goal in 2012.
If waste tire export (but not used tire export), alternative daily cover (ADC), and TDF were excluded, the 2011 diversion rate would be only 44.4 percent. These markets, while controversial, play an important role in the expanding diversion rate for California waste tires, the report stated. CalRecycle is focused on increasing diversion through ground rubber and CE, and these segments are currently diverting only 21.6 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively.
Key Market Trends
Following are some key trends in California’s waste tire management industry and markets:
Waste Tire Generation
Factors: sluggish economy, high unemployment,
reduced miles driven, consumers using tires longer.
Competition for Waste Tire Supply
Factors: Strong demand for waste tires in Asia and other parts of the world; new baler/export facility start-ups; favorable export economics.
Concern: This is shifting the established supply lines for processors and cement kilns who use whole tire fuel.
Factors: increased export demand, increased competition. reduced tip fees.
Concern: processors’ business model/structure affected. Could eliminate tip fees for cement kilns or require them soon to pay for tires.
Status: Up sharply. Most significant trend in 2011
Factors: the 2010 export demand doubled over 2009 levels, and 2011 levels increased by 50 percent over 2010 export levels. This trend appears to be continuing in the first part of 2012, further exacerbating the tire supply disruptions described in the previous bullet. When used tire exports (4.5 percent) are combined with waste tire exports (23.4 percent), the export total in 2011 was nearly 28 percent. If the current export growth rate persists, more than one-third of California tires will be exported in 2012.
Concern: the majority of the new baler/exporters do not have waste tire facility permits and are noncompliant in other respects. CalRecycle has stepped up compliance monitoring and enforcement. Legislative bill introduced (AB 1647, Gordon, 2011-12 session) to improve and streamline permitting and enforcement programs.
Factors: export-induced market shifts may effect how California’s current tire processing infrastructure evolves in the future.
Concern: A worst-case scenario would be a significant decline in California’s established processing and market infrastructure, followed by a rapid decrease in exports. This would impact the significant investments made by CalRecycle and private industry over the past two decades and also leave the state poorly equipped to maintain waste tire diversion levels similar to current ones.
On the other hand, if export demand and economics continue to be strong, it is likely that baler/exporters will become established, fully compliant businesses that assume a lasting role in California’s waste tire management infrastructure. While this will surely disrupt established processors, to the extent that current pricing continues it could result in reduced costs for waste tire management and a pillar, for better or worse, of a newly cast tire recycling marketplace.
Factors: truck tire retreading and culling of used tires for sale domestically, increased by 22 percent over 2010, with domestic used passenger vehicle tire reuse increasing by 39 percent and truck tire retreading increasing by 13 percent. Truck tire retreaders expect the trend to continue in 2012. Demand for retread services as well as domestic reuse of tires are strengthened as consumers view reuse and retread as valid means of saving costs in the challenging economic times.
Status: Up slightly. Overall ground rubber market demand showed a modest 3 percent increase in 2011.
Rubberized asphalt: the report shows an increase in use in 2011 although California processors reported selling slightly less ground rubber (0.1 million PTE less) into that market segment.
Factors: stressed municipal and county budgets defered paving projects funded by local governments.
Turf and athletic field: use increased by 27 percent from 1.4 million PTEs in 2010 to 1.7 million PTEs in 2011. Despite this increase, according to California crumb producers, significant quantities of imported crumb rubber are being purchased for California turf projects.
Molded and extruded products: market increased by 27 percent, but still comprises a very small part of the overall crumb rubber market, at 0.9 million PTE in 2011 compared with 0.7 million PTE in 2010.
Pour-in-place playground market: slight increase in the use of crumb rubber (1 percent) and market demand for other ground rubber applications, including loose-fill play/bark/mulch, and “other” applications, was flat, on average.
Status: Down significantly
Factors: Estimated CE applications decreased from 1.8 million PTEs in 2010 to 0.6 million PTEs in 2011. Some landfills indicated that their cell construction, closure, and landfill gas collection system installation schedule slowed due to reduced landfill activity from the depressed economy. The use of TDA in transportation-related applications decreased from less than 0.1 million PTEs in 2010 to no use in 2011. Transportation-related TDA use depends on the timing of road and rail construction projects and there were no projects slated to use the material in 2011. Weak budgets and the exhaustion of federal stimulus funding contributed to the decline. At least two projects expected to use about 1.5 million PTE are planned for late 2012 and 2013. Although civil engineering use was down in 2011, as the economy recovers and transportation projects progress, CalRecycle expects this decline to reverse.
Tire-Derived Fuel (TDF)
Factors: This decline is a result of a co-generation facility slowing activity (and eventually closing in early 2012) and reduced cement production at one of the four cement kilns that accept TDF as a fuel source. Three cement kilns reported increased usage in 2011 and all indicated that they expect usage to continue expanding in 2012 as demand for cement is expected to increase.
Status: Down to a Record Low - declined by 36 percent, from 7.8 to 5.0 million PTEs
Factors: The decline in disposal appears to be largely due to the increase in exports, as well as the increase in demand for reuse.
© Scrap Tire News, September 2012
BBC Documentary Focuses On Tire Dumping And Exports
The BBC's recent Panorama prime-time documentary series on illegal tire dumping featured a segment on exporting end-of-life (ELTs) tires that is drawing interest from tire recyclers in the U.S. and other countries struggling with the growing export of scrap tires. The program, entitled 'Britain's Biggest Waste Dumpers', looked at what it described as "fly-tipping on an industrial scale" and highlighted three key issues: the perceived lack of transparency and clarity relating to retail tire disposal charges; illegal dumping in the UK; and the negative effects exporting end of life tires has on domestic tire recycling businesses and on the destination country.
The reporting covered both the legal export of tires and illegal exports pointing out that the UK does allow tires to be exported for use as fuel but only to countries that place environmental controls on factory emissions, such as Malaysia and South Korea. The program's investigation found evidence that millions of tires sold for export are in fact being smuggled into Vietnam and China via Malaysia and other approved countries.
Most alarming to the UK's tire recycling industry, the BBC reported that export demand is growing and many legitimate UK tire recycling firms are now experiencing a shortage of supply caused by buyers from Asia who undercut prices to get the tires. Many of these operations are facing closure or bankruptcy as a result of the shortages. According to Panorama, the illegal export of used tires is one of the greatest tire recycling problems of recent years. Commenting on the documentary, the UK-based trade publication Tyres & Accessories said several UK tire recyclers reported they have been approached by agents looking for volumes of tires to export on a weekly basis.
While these offers seem legitimate and often include documents pointing to a legal destination in a country like Indonesia, the BBC went undercover and showed an example of one such facility that wasn't a tire recycling factory at all and that the tires were, in fact, re-exported to Vietnam before being driven 10 hours north to the border with China and being sold as fuel for porcelain factories.
The documentary estimated that the illegal export trade now involves upwards of 1.5 million scrap tires a year. Panorama further pointed out that besides being illegal, the export activity is as "far cry from consumer expectations when they pay for tires to be disposed of."
Tire fees, illegal dumping and more The documentary also explored discrepancies in the collection and reporting of tire disposal fees, concluding that the information on how, who and why the fees were being collected was confusing at best.
In some instances, the documentary suggested tire retailers "are using the green fee as a profit stream" and were in some cases responsible for driving down the cost of collection and indirectly contributing to "tire dumping."
Tyres & Accessories pointed out that the Tyre Industry Federation and other national tire groups would likely combat the lack of clarity and transparency regarding fees with some kind of awareness-raising campaign among its members and the industry at large.
Generally complimentary of Panorama's coverage in the documentary, Tyres & Accessories did point out that the media put "too much emphasis on the minority of recyclers and collectors that are not members of industry associations like the Tyre Recovery Association (TRA) and therefore do not represent the views of the majority of this part of the (tire recycling) business."
According to TRA officials, 80 percent or more of the 55 million scrap tires generated in the UK are lawfully disposed by the association and its allied Responsible Recyclers Scheme.
The scheme ensures full traceability and accountability of waste tires throughout the disposal chain, from collection to reuse in approved applications. Commenting on BBC TV's Panorama July 16 broadcast,TRA secretary general Peter Taylor said the latest investigation highlighted the importance of programs like the Responsible Recyclers Scheme and showed the devastation and criminality that result when companies operate outside the law.
In an interview featured in the documentary, Taylor commented that "the main issue in all of this is enforcement and observance of duty of care," and that "as long as there are operators at the margins of our business who decide to disregard the duty of care and if the enforcement regime is inadequate then we will continue to have problems."
© Scrap Tire News, August 2012
Europe Keeps Pace With Tire Recycling Goals and Growth
In less than two decades, Europe's tire recycling industry has met many of the National and EU (European Union) end-of-life tires (ELT) diversion goals and is keeping pace with new increases in ELT generation, according to Barend Ten Bruggencate, Chairman of the Tyres Committee who spoke at the group's meeting at the 2012 Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) World Recycling Convention held in Rome, Italy in May.
Citing figures from the 2011 edition of the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers' Association (ETRMA) statistical review, Chairman Ten Bruggencate reported that in 2010 material recovery accounted for 40 percent of end-of-life tires and 38 percent were consumed for energy recovery while only 4 percent were landfilled.
By comparison in 1994, just 17 percent of Europe's ELT's were converted into rubber granulate for use in products or into energy for use by the cement industry while 62 percent ended up in landfills. The 2010 ELT recovery rate in the EU-27 plus Norway and Switzerland matched the 2009 rate of 95 percent but in 2010 recovered ELT volumes increased to keep pace with the higher volume of ELTs generated in Europe.
As generation rates climbed from 2.62 million tons in 2009 to 2.69 million, recovered ELTs jumped to 2.53 million tons in 2010 up from the 2.49 million tons recovered in 2009. ETRMA noted that Europe's higher ELT recovery rates are also keeping pace with those being achieved in North America and Japan.
Overall in 2010, material recovery application consumed 1.3 million tons of ELTs. Another 1.2 million tons were utilized in Europe for energy recovery.
Chairman Ten Buggencate and Tyres Committee guest speaker Kees Van Ostenrijk of RecyBEM, BV, a Netherlands-based tire industry producer responsibility group praised Europe's high ELT recovery rate but emphasized the need to maintain and build on what has already been achieved. Echoing findings in the ETRMA report both speakers pointed out that developing precise quality standards for ELT-derived shred, crumb and powder will help improve the level of quality of tire-derived products, open the market to new applications and technology exchanges and provide access to know-how and innovation.
Van Oostenrijk discussed the importance of end-of-waste criteria for used tires within the EU and explained that by developing pragmatic end-of-waste criteria measures where legislation no longer becomes applicable, associated costs can be reduced and exports will no longer be subject to onerous waste shipment regulations. He called end-of-waste criteria "our future" for used tires.
Van Oostenrijk also talked about research and development work into devulcanization and pyrolysis, saying that these techniques could have a substantially more impact on tire recycling in the future.
© Scrap Tire News, July 2012
China to Consume 3.5 Million Tons of Recycled Rubber
During the recent World Rubber Summit, Mary Xu, deputy secretary-general for the China Rubber Industry Association (CRIA) said China will consume around 3.5 million metric tons of recycled rubber in 2012.
According to Xu, this figure represents more than 10 percent of global rubber consumption, and compares with China´s consumption of 6.9 million tons of virgin rubber in 2011. This comprises 3.2 million tons of natural rubber (NR) and 3.7 million tons of synthetic rubber. In 2012 this is likely to increase to 3.4 million tons of NR and 4 million tons of synthetic, totaling 7.4 million, Deputy Secretary-General Xu said.
She said China consumed 3 million tons of recycled rubber in 2011, which represents about 81 percent of global recycled rubber consumption.
© Scrap Tire News, June 2012
EPA Posts Crumb Rubber Statement
Agency findings show no evidence of elevated health risks from crumb rubber in playgrounds and turf fields
The United States Environmental Protection Agency -- EPA has released a public statement recognizing the safety of crumb rubber in playgrounds and synthetic turf fields. The statement has been posted on EPA's website and reflects the agency's comprehensive review of earlier statements and studies and incorporates comments and modifications resulting from EPA's review process.
The new posting was welcomed by the Synthetic Turf Council (STC) whose members manufacture and install synthetic turf fields containing crumb rubber infill.
In an email to members, STC President Rick Doyle called the statement long-awaited and said it "validates the safety of crumb rubber in playgrounds and synthetic turf sports fields".
The full statement (see below) can now be accessed on the EPA website at www.epa.gov/epawaste/conserve/
In addition to its position statement on the health implications of crumb rubber in playgrounds and synthetic turf fields, EPA's Website features a similar statement of EPA's findings on tire derived fuel.
Users can also find a wealth of information on scrap tire markets, regulations and a general overview of scrap tire management in the U.S. today. A section of the site is devoted to EPA's Scrap Tire Workgroup. It presents the goals, mission and initiatives this broad-based industry/government group has undertaken to advance growth in scrap tire recycling and markets in the U.S.
The Publications referenced in EPA's playground and synthetic turf fields statement can be found at:
1. www.epa.gov. Click the Exposure Research tab on the EPA Home page to access Scoping-Level Field Monitoring Study of Synthetic Turf Fields and Playgrounds.
2. www.ct.gov/dep/artificialturf to access Risk Assessment of Artificial Turf Fields
3. www.calrecycle.ca.gov/publications/ to access California's report.
© Scrap Tire News, May 2012
CalRecycle Workshop Spurs Action On Scrap Tire Exports
The California Department of Recycling and Resource Recovery (CalRecycle) held a workshop on tire regulation enforcement March 19.
The "changes in Enforcement Practices" workshop is the latest CalRecycle effort to respond to the continued diversion of California waste tires to unpermitted facilities that have received notice of violation orders to bring their site into compliance with storage limits.
For months, California tire recyclers, processors and other industry stakeholders have been lobbying CalRecycle to step up enforcement of unpermitted sites and haulers delivering tires to unpermitted sites.
These unpermitted operations are diverting thousands of scrap tires from legitimately permitted tire recyclers and processors drastically reducing tire flows and threatening to put legitimate scrap tire companies out of business, stakeholders told CalRecycle.
More than 75 California tire recycling industry stakeholders attending the March 19 meeting thanked CalRecycle officials and applauded their dedication in responding to California tire recyclers' and processors' concerns.
California tire recyclers called the meeting "a great start" and said they were hopeful that CalRecycle's actions will have an impact on the export of tires, at least in the short term.
Beyond California, the tire recycling industry in a growing number of states is also feeling the effects of tires being exported overseas. Tire recylers in these states say the loss of tire flow and lost revenue are putting their businesses in jeopardy.
As stakeholders from other states and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) coalesce, they point to California as a good example of what states can do. "California is moving on it," several tire industry representatives said during a recent meeting of EPA's Scrap Tire Workgroup subcommittee on exports. Among other things, California is looking at legislation to institutionalize waste tire practices.
At the March 19 meeting, workshop leaders presented a roster of ideas on modifications to the state's waste tire enforcement process that focused on business practices and statutory options. Among the changes to current business practices, CalRecycle proposed shortening the time for rejecting incomplete waste tire storage permit applications and the time between a notice of violation and a cleanup order.
The agency also proposed a "no exceptions" rule for all sites found in violation. CalRecycle said it would work with local district attorneys and involve attorneys earlier in the process to thwart facilities and haulers in violation of waste tire laws.
CalRecycle also proposed re-instating the practice of publicizing enforcement activities through press releases and as informational items on public meeting agendas. The agency also recommended posting cleanup and abatement orders and administrative complaints on its website.
Nine statutory options presented at the meeting were for discussion only. They included provisions to require waste tire law violators to reduce the number of tires on site to zero and the option for district attorneys to file felony charges against waste tire violators, instead of misdemeanor charges as currently allowed.
CalRecycle is accepting comments to its proposed business practices changes and statutory options until the end of April at email@example.com.
© Scrap Tire News, April 2012
EPA: Crumb Rubber Not A Health Risk
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has posted a statement on the Scrap Tire page of its website summarizing the Agency's findings that it has found no evidence in field monitoring data collected to date by EPA and others of an elevated health risk resulting from the use of recycled tire crumb in playgrounds or synthetic turf athletic fields.
The full text of EPA's position statement on the potential health risk from crumb rubber in playgounds or athletic turf fields follows:
"In response to concerns about potential risks resulting from the use of recycled tire crumb in playgrounds and in conjunction with synthetic turf athletic fields, EPA conducted a Scoping-Level Field Monitoring Study of Synthetic Turf Fields and Playgrounds. The final report was issued in 2009 and concluded that on average, concentrations of components monitored in this study were below levels of concern.
To supplement this study's limited data, EPA met with state and local representatives in 2010 to review other available field monitoring studies including a recent study conducted by the state of Connecticut which concluded that exposures and risks were not elevated (relative to what is commonly found in outdoor air) for either children and adults using the fields.
According to a recent California report that looks into the possible human health risks of outdoor athletic fields made from artificial turf containing recycled crumb rubber with respect to skin abrasions, bacteria harbored by the turf,inhalable particulate matter, and volatile organic compounds, it was concluded these fields do not pose a serious public health concern, with the possible exception of an increased skin abrasion rate on artificial turf relative to natural turf.
At this point in time, we do not believe that the field monitoring data collected to date by EPA and others provides evidence of an elevated health risk resulting from the use of tire mulch in playgrounds or synthetic turf athletic fields. Ultimately, the use of tire crumb or any other playground materials is a local or state decision."
In addition to the position statement on crumb rubber, EPA's website features a similar statement of the Agency's findings on tire derived fuel.
Users can also find a wealth of information on scrap tire markets, regulations and a general overview of scrap tire management in the US today. A section of the site is devoted to the Scrap Tire Workgroup. It presents the goals, mission and initiatives this broad-based industry/government group has undertaken to further growth in scrap tire recycling and markets in the US.
© Scrap Tire News, March 2012
Florida On-Track With Scrap Tire Management
The Florida waste tire management program has made exceptional progress, according to the latest Waste Tires in Florida report from the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
In 2008, almost 92 percent of the 19.5 million waste tires generated in Florida were constructively utilized in diverse applications, compared to virtually no usage in 1990.
The new report (covering 2010) provides summaries of Florida's diverse markets noting changes and anomalies in certain markets. For example,the use of tire shreds in septic tank drain fields which showed growth earlier is declining, while high fuel prices attracted more tire fuel use in new and retrofitted cement kilns, waste-to-energy facilities, and power boilers, with additional growth probable.
The use of scrap tires as a supplemental fuel source consumed 49.9 percent of Florida’s waste tire generation in 2010, Ten waste-to-energy facilities consume tires to enhance their combustion temperature control and/or optimize electricity generation.
In addition, cement kilns,pulp and paper mills and other industrial facilities are utilizing tires as fuel within Florida making fuel use the largest market for scrap tires in Florida. Florida utilized an estimated 7,260,000 waste tires in crumb rubber applications during 2010, representing 37.7 percent of total generation.
Playground surfacing, both loose-fill and poured-in-place, is a significant use of crumb rubber in Florida. In addition, innovative athletic fields utilizing crumb rubber within artificial turf surfaces remain substantial, although there was a slight decline in 2010 due to decreased public spending on facilities. Crumb rubber is also used for soil modification to decrease compaction and enhance drainage on sports fields and other high-traffic grassed areas. Florida producers have significantly increased sales of crumb rubber to regional manufacturers of molded rubber products, such as tiles and mats.
Another major market for crumb rubber in Florida is asphalt modification, Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) contractors purchased about 19,000 tons of crumb rubber in 2010 from Florida producers as part of the interlayer, friction course and crack sealants used in roadway construction and maintenance. Manufacturing crumb rubber for this market consumes about 530,000 tires. Florida was the only state that specified rubber modified asphalt (RMA) for friction course pavement on all state-maintained roads, but polymers have displaced crumb rubber in some road classes. DOT is continuing a detailed research program that could reverse this decline and increase crumb rubber usage through substitution of polymer/crumb rubber blends.
Florida has been one of the pioneers in large-scale use of shredded tires as a replacement for natural soil and aggregate in civil engineering applications such as landfill drainage layers, methane gas collection systems, and septic system drainage trenches. These uses consumed approximately 480,000 tires, or about 2.5 percent, of Florida’s waste tires in 2010. Tire chips have become a proven, technically acceptable material for these applications, but market volume for tire chips is dependent on comparative economics and new landfill cell construction. Use of tire chips as daily cover continues to decline as higher value uses expand.
While the Department continues to explore methods of encouraging and accelerating additional market development to achieve full utilization of its scrap tire resources, for the first time the state reported export as a diversion route for the state's annually generated scrap tires. In 2010, the report estimated 400,000 PTEs were collected, baled and exported from Florida through Vietnam to China, reportedly for conversion to diesel fuel in rural areas using crude pyrolysis technology that produces gross environmental contamination. The report further noted that export volumes appeared to be expanding rapidly in 2011, decreasing availability of tires for established local processors and markets.
Waste tire stockpiles have been reduced by more than 15 million tires through persuasion of site owners, financing of county abatement actions, or abatement under department contracts. With continuing permitting and enforcement activity on both state and local levels, few new stockpiles have been created and existing stockpiles are continuing to be abated. Stockpiles have declined dramatically over the years, with the current list of known stockpiles containing approximately 32,000 waste tires, with the exception of the Osborne Reef site, which is an ongoing project to remove nearly a million tires from the sea floor. The Department is continuing its efforts to identify and abate all remaining stockpiles, the report concluded.
© Scrap Tire News, February 2012
TDA Rescues Failing Road Project
Tire shreds' lightweight, sheer strength overcomes poor soils
Construction was humming along on a multi-year, $25 million road project outside of Mankato, MN on CSAH 12 when an embankment leading to a bridge failed, temporarily affecting service on the DM&E Railroad's mainline running along the base of the embankment. To determine the cause of the failure and figure out the most effective and cost efficient remedy, Blue Earth County sought the advice of geotechnical engineers.
Steve Gale, from Gale Tec Engineering Inc, was brought in. Determining the cause required reviewing the site, which had about a 30 foot high embankment with double train tracks at the bottom. Soil borings were drilled and tests were run on samples from the road section.
"Just like a doctor would run a CAT scan and do blood tests, we do the same thing on soil," Gale said. The determination was heavy fill on top of soft soils caused the failure and continued movement.
"In this case, because of the limited distance between the overpass and the railroad tracks, we had to take the soil load off in order to stop the movement and then rebuild that section with a material that was lightweight," Gale explained.
Four different materials were evaluated for their engineering properties and cost effectiveness. After looking at foam, lightweight aggregate, wood chips, and tire shreds, the choice was clear.
"Shredded tires have certain properties that were advantageous in this case," Gale said. "They have a high interface friction angle and low weight, about one-third of the weight of regular soil."
The county engineer, Al Forsberg, agreed with the diagnosis and the remedy.
"Tires were the most economical solution and they solved the slope stability problem," Forsberg said.
Cost savings are just one of the benefits of using tire shreds in civil engineering applications, according to Monte Niemi, CEO of First State Tire Recycling. His facility in Isanti, MN processes millions of used tires every year into Recycled Tire Engineered Aggregate R.-T.E.A. The tires are recycled into pieces ranging in size up to 12 inches which can be used as aggregate in civil engineering products.
"When compared to other fills, tires offer a remarkable list of unique and desirable characteristics: lightweight, free-draining, insulating, high internal shear strength," Niemi said. "When the pieces get compressed, they interlock and hold the road together."
More than 16,000 cubic yards of tire shreds were used in the Blue Earth County bridge embankment project. This would amount to about 820,000 tires used.
Tire shreds are helping Blue Earth County meet their goals of increasing safety at the interchange connection to Highway 14, and providing grade separation with the railroad and Sakatah Singing Hills Regional Trail, Forsberg said.
The project also is addressing congestion, access and economic development needs of the region. The portion is complete that includes the shredded tires approach to the bridge over the railroad tracks. Forsberg reports the entire project is nearing completion and the tire fill has corrected the problem.
This was Blue Earth County's first road project involving tire shreds. The product has a 20 year history and has been successfully used in other counties, including Carlton, Benton, Sherburne, Isanti, Ramsey, and Hennepin, to name a few.
© Scrap Tire News, January 2012
Rubberized Asphalt Use Growing Worldwide
More than 85 stakeholders interested in expanding the use of recycled rubber in asphalt pavements gathered at the 5th Rubber Modified Asphalt Conference held in Austin, TX last month.
Sponsored by the Scrap Tire Research and Education Foundation, the Rubber Manufacturers Association--both Washington DC organizations, the Rubber Division American Chemical Society, Akron, OH; Rubber Pavements Association,Tempe, AZ; the National Center for Asphalt Technology, Auburn, AL; the Asphalt Institute, Lexington, KY and the National Pavements Association, Lanham, MD, the two-day meeting covered the latest developments in rubberized asphalt.
Presenters and those attending engaged in interactive dialogue throughout the sessions to detail progress in the types of technology being used to incorporate rubber into asphalt binders.
Traditional hot mix asphalt (HMA) , the technology that first used recycled tire rubber in asphalt, is a stable market for rubber modified asphalt today while newer technologies like terminal blended asphalt blended with tire rubber is making strong in- roads in the market. Recycled tire rubber is also being incorporated into warm mix asphalt blends which require less energy and produce lower emissions. These attributes make warm mix asphalt a good environmental choice, according to the Federal Highway Administration's (FHWA) Steve Mueller said in a presentation covering an Overview of the FHWA Organization and Recycling Policy and the USA Road Network.
Millions and millions of tons of recycled materials including slag, recycled asphalt pavement (RAP), and recycled tire rubber, are being used in highway pavement applications annually in the U.S., Mueller said.
FHWA's Environmental Policy seeks to both save non-renewable resources and encourage the use of industrial byproducts in the nation's highways, Mueller said. "And, he added, " it's also just 'a darn good' practice".
Presentations also included reviews of FHWA's Sustainable Highway Program and case studies of rubber modified asphalt use in Louisiana, Texas and Nebraska. Other topics covered the noise reduction effects from rubber modified asphalt, cold-weather use of rubber modified asphalt in Sweden and Alaska and a summary of current research on rubberized asphalt.
© Scrap Tire News, December 2011
CalRecycle Steps Up Efforts To Stem Unpermitted "Exportation" Activities
At its October public meeting, the California Department of Resource Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) discussed its efforts to address unpermitted and illegal activities occurring as a result of the growing export business in the state that is diverting scrap tires to overseas markets. Stakehokders at the meeting said the export of scrap tires from California is being led by a network of brokers who solicit haulers, owners of unpermitted sites and operators of permitted facilities to bale tires and transport the bales to ports in Northern and Southern California for shipment to Chinese tire fuel markets. Among the issues CalRecycle is looking into, are haulers, companies and individuals operating without permits that are "part of the exportation business."
Trailer weight is something else CalRecycle is looking into. According to reports the agency has received from California processors and tire-derived product manufacturers, there are companies sending out overloaded trailers from their facilities under directives from the export brokers demanding containers be heavier than the legal weight.
California tire processors, recyclers and other stakeholders who operate with proper permits have lodged numerous complaints with CalRecycle calling for both enforce- ment and oversight of the rapidly expanding export business in the state saying it is driving down tip fees and eroding the once robust tire flow that feeds scrap tire processing, recycling and products manufacturing facilities in the state.
For its part, CalRecycle said the state is stepping up its inspection and enforcement of tire sites and facilities operating without a permit. The agency reports an increase in permit applications as a result.
On the transport side, members of California's scrap tire recycling industry have called on CalRecycle to work more closely with the California Highway Patrol (CHP) and alert them when there are complaints of overloaded trailers transporting baled tires to ports.
CalRecycle's enforcement officials have also developed a Special Bulletin dealing with Baled Waste Tire Permitting Storage and Hauling requirements. The bulletin was sent out by CalRecycle to remind tire stakeholders about the regulations affecting baling operations.
Storage Facility permit. Before such permits can be issued, they require, among other things, an inspection and approval by local fire authorities. The Bulletin sets forth the process state inspectors use to bring about permitting compliance when an inspection finds more than 499 tires at a site.
In addition, the agency is accepting suggestions from stakeholders on the quickest way to shut down illegal tire facilities that are storing more than 499 scrap tires.
© Scrap Tire News, November 2011
Majority of Auto Repair Shops Recycle Tires
Today's auto repair shops do much more than fix cars. They also play a key role in protecting the environment. According to a study by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association, Bethesda, MD (AAIA), 88 percent report they recycle tires.
"Many people aren't aware of the widespread environmental thinking and practices in auto repair shops in the areas of recycling, disposal and facilities management," Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council said.
"Shops have practiced sustainability for decades, and as a result, they have made huge contributions to a cleaner environment."
The recycling efforts of auto repair shops help keep tires out of landfills - where they can cause toxic runoff that can contaminate the soil and watershed - and out of tire stockpiles that can create fires, causing land and air pollution and contaminating surface and ground water sources, AAIS's study said.
In addition to recycling tires, repair shops recycle used engine oil and oil filters, batteries, parts cleaning solvents, scrap metal, plastics, cardboard and paper,pallets and more.
The study is part of AAIA's initiative to illustrate the automotive aftermarket industry's widespread environmental efforts. The information is presented in AAIA's "Driving Toward a Cleaner Environment: The Automotive Aftermarket's Green Story," and in the short videos, AAIA Green and AAIA Green: Tire Recycling.
The Car Care Council's "Be Car Care Aware" consumer education campaign promotes the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. Visit www.carcare.org.
© Scrap Tire News, October 2011
EPA Releases Scrap Tire Handbook
New publication seeks to accelerate scrap tire market development efforts in the U.S.-Mexico border region using experience-based information Scrap tires are a concern for Mexico, with many scrap tire piles concentrated throughout the U.S – Mexico border region.
In addition to the numerous environmental and public health concerns that scrap tire piles can raise in communities, they represent a vastly underutilized market for recycled materials. Now, a just-released scrap tire resource handbook has a variety of viable options for the Mexico border region to take advantage of the scrap tire market. Scrap Tires: Handbook on Recycling Applications and Management for the U.S. and Mexico is a roadmap for federal, state and local governments along with private industry for developing markets for scrap tires and valuable tire-derived materials.
“The publication has been years in the making and provides a wealth of information on addressing scrap tires,” Rick Picardi, Acting Chief, of the International and Transportation Branch of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and project manager for the Scrap Tire Handbook, said. Prominent experts in the scrap tire field provided much of the content, Picardi said.
The handbook is both unique and useful in the fact that it presents information and lessons learned from those who have established and effectively managed scrap tire programs. It gives in-depth, modern-day coverage to the three main market segments –energy use, tire-derived aggregate and ground rubber. Information-packed chapters have specific market details and applications showing how each of these recycling methods is driving the tire recycling industry.
Tire recyclers will be especially interested in the book’s discussion of transportation and processing economics. Economic analysis is critical to any scrap tire program success but it is rarely covered in tire recycling presentations or discussions.
Chapter Six of thehandbook takes on the task. The chapter is replete with clear explanations of real-life numbers and economic values for all aspects of tire handling from collection, transportation and processing to market identification, potential and distribution. Charts, graphs and other comparative tools present a balanced look at what to consider before implementation of a tire recycling operation.
This economic analysis along with the technical, environmental, and reference information provided for major scrap tire recycling applications allow industry and government stakeholders to assess, prioritize, target, and develop markets as efficiently and rapidly as possible.
For energy use, the handbook points out that scrap tires can be an environmentally compatible alternative energy resource when used in appropriate applications.
To date, energy use is recognized as an important component of successful scrap tire management programs within the United States because of its ability to allow scrap tires to be used productively.
The net result has been substantial conservation of non-renewable fossil fuels. Good scrap tire management programs recognize the importance of diverse applications, the Handbook states. Thus, when the demonstrated performance of tires as an energy resource is objectively evaluated, many jurisdictions have concluded that the environment is better served by recognizing the value of this resource rather than wasting it while waiting for ideal solutions.
The Handbook goes on to say that the use of scrap tires in civil engineering applications, in some cases , can be a viable alternative to tire-derived fuel. This is because tire derived aggregate (TDA), an engineered product made by cutting scrap tires into 25- to 300-millimeter (mm) pieces, has inherent properties that provide many solutions to geotechnical challenges.
Since it is lightweight, TDA produces low lateral pressures on walls It is a good thermal insulator, in fact, eight times better than soil. TDA has high permeability, good shear strength, and absorbs vibrations. When used in appropriate applications, TDA’s special properties can greatly reduce construction costs and effectively consume significant volumes of scrap tire material. Each cubic meter of TDA fill contains the equivalent of 100 passenger car tires, the Handbook said.
True to its theme, the Handbook looks at ground rubber applications within the context of traditional recycling hierarchy and examines their role in advancing scrap tire markets throughout the U.S.-Mexico border regions.
One thing the Handbook makes clear is the highest-value applications for scrap tires use ground rubber and that as ground rubber markets develop, scrap tires will naturally be diverted to products with higher value. Typical applications range from animal mattresses and traffic cones to athletic surfaces and as additive to asphalt.
However, the Handbook points out, these applications have historically developed slowly and do not consume large volumes of tires. So, while they are not the primary focus of new scrap tire management programs for the U.S- Mexico border regions described in the Handbook, ground rubber markets can be an important long-term component of scrap tire use while initial market development efforts focus on energy and civil engineering applications to maximize short-term use of this resource.
In addition, with the experience gained in the United States, it may be possible to accelerate ground rubber market growth in Mexico, the Handbook states.
Looking at another key component of successful scrap tire management programs, the Handbook illustrates how many U.S. states have been able to successfully clean up scrap tire stockpiles, establish programs to halt the formation of future stockpiles, and mitigate the potential risks to human health and the environment posed by tire stockpiles. The Handbook reflects the lessons learned in the process and highlights important considerations for establishing and implementing scrap tire abatement and reuse programs.
It offers several key points for the successful implementation of a scrap tire program calling on stakeholders to first identify and promote markets for scrap tires in or around their communities. The Handbook recommends identifying a specific market before choosing a particular scrap tire application, such as crumb rubber or tire shreds. Hiring a tire expert before making a decision to spend money on pyrolysis, gasification, or thermal induction, can help assure a successful program outcome, the Handbook says.
"While these methods are evolving and may become economically viable in the future, they have not proven economically viable thus far," the Handbook points out. Additional information, lessons learned, and case-studies from established programs can be found throughout the handbook.
Links for further reading are supplied when available and provide valuable information to local governments or private industry ready to explore the scrap tire market.
To obtain a hardcopy of the publication go to the National Service Center for Environmental Publications website, http://www.epa.gov/nscep. Publication number is EPA530-R-10-010. A Spanish version of the Handbook is also in the works and will be released soon.
© Scrap Tire News, September 2011
STC Advances Industry Education With A Look At Today's Turf
First comprehensive, annotated guide covers the uses and benefits of synthetic turf
Synthetic Turf 360º, A Guide for Today's Synthetic Turf showcases the numerous uses and benefits of synthetic turf and contains information on the positive environmental impact of recycling tires.
Produced by the Atlanta, GA-based Synthetic Turf Council (STC), Synthetic Turf 360º features information about athletic fields and the growing landscape and recreation category, which includes parks, playgrounds, homes, businesses, golf courses and more. Available for download without charge, the education piece is the first comprehensive, annotated tool of its kind in the industry.
"We created this piece in response to requests from consumers, members, athletic directors, municipal officials and others," Rick Doyle, President of the Synthetic Turf Council said. "After much research, editing, and time, Synthetic Turf 360º presents the latest thinking about today's synthetic turf in an attractive format."
Education is an important focus for the STC. Its website contains research, studies and position papers from federal agencies, governing bodies and independent sources worldwide. In addition to Synthetic Turf 360º, other resources include Reaching the Finish Line, which helps athletic directors interested in synthetic turf raise funds and build support, and technical papers including Suggested Guidelines for the Essential Elements of Synthetic Turf Systems and Suggested Guidelines for the Maintenance of Infilled Synthetic Turf Surfaces.
This copyrighted STC document, Synthetic Turf 360º is free for use and sharing as long as it's not altered in any way. To access the piece, visit www.syntheticturfcouncil.org.
© Scrap Tire News, August 2011
EPA Sets Schedule For Boiler Standards
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will release a new proposal for air toxic standards for industrial boilers and waste incinerators by this October, with final standards ready by April 2012, the agency said in a filing with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
The EPA announced in May that it was seeking additional public comment on the final rules issued last February, and issued a stay postponing the effective dates of the standards until the reconsideration was complete.
Businesses and communities sent the EPA more than 4,800 comments after the proposed boiler and incinerator rules were issued in April 2010.
Responding to comments from the tire industry, tire recyclers and state scrap tire program managers, the agency clarified the use of scrap tires as fuel in the final rule and deleted a proposal requiring that scrap tires must be processed to remove all metal.
© Scrap Tire News, July 2011
Recycle Atlanta Puts Focus on Rubberized Asphalt
Several top decision makers from various entities who oversee tire recycling and road construction gathered in Georgia for Recycle Atlanta, May 24 at the invitation of Liberty Tire Recycling.
The one-day educational event featured a technical seminar focused on rubber modified asphalt and Green Space:Atlanta -- a networking forum showcasing tire recycling products, manufacturing and applications.
Among those attending, Georgia state representative Randy Nix (District 69) commented that he came to learn more about scrap tires since he sponsored legislation earlier this year that addressed the state’s tire fee.
“One of the things I came away with today is a true understanding of the value and benefits of tire recycling and rubberized asphalt to communities throughout Georgia," Representative Nix told Dick Gust, Vice President, National Collections for Liberty Tire Recycling and coordinator of the Recycle Atlanta program.
Nix, who attended the rubberized asphalt presentation and spent time touring Liberty’s tire processing facility, expressed his interest in developing a public/private partnership to promote the use of rubberized asphalt and other recycled rubber products and applications to the various levels of state and municipal government. “We learned how good this product is for Georgia’s roads and all about the benefits,” Nix said. “Now, how can we make this happen?”
Nix suggested a follow-up program in the Fall and offered assistance in gathering attendees from other agencies including the departments of environment and public works.
Approximately 517 lane miles of rubberized asphalt have been placed on Georgia highways in more than a dozen projects since 2007 and the number is growing, according to Peter Wu, bureau chief of technical assistance at the office of Materials and Research for the Georgia Department of Transportation (DOT). “They are all performing and serving the driving public”, Wu told those attending Recycle Atlanta.
“Rubber is a product that provides long-term supply and is a more cost-effective and competitive way to modify asphalt,” Wu said. “In addition, it provides an outlay for scrap tires that may otherwise end up in landfills.” In all, the projects used 3,300,000 pounds of recycled rubber--the equivalent of 330,000 scrap tires.
For the Georgia DOT, interest in increasing the use of rubber modified asphalt in the state traces back to 2008 when the price of crude oil hit $147 a barrel and the association of modified asphalt producers announced a shortage of styrene butadiene polymers (SBS) for the asphalt industry. This confluence of economic factors spurred Georgia DOT engineers to consider alternate materials or construction methods that could reduce project costs while maintaining pavement quality and longevity, Wu commented.
At the same time, the Georgia DOT, which had in the past place several test sections of asphalt pavement incorporating crumb rubber in the mix, was pursuing experience with a new rubberized asphalt technology. The technology, developed by Illinois-based Rubber Asphalt Solutions, LLC, involved the inclusion of trans-polyoctenamer (TOR) with the rubber to improve workability of the crumb rubber modified mixture.
Starting in 2007, the Georgia DOT placed a series of test sections on I-75 and on several state roads including a 9.5mm Superpave with 45 % RAP (reclaimed asphalt pavement) modified with a crumb rubber design mix consisting of 10 % ground tire rubber by weight of the asphalt cement and the TOR polymer added at a 4.5% rate based on the weight of the rubber. The crumb rubber/TOR modifier was dry -fed directly into the hot mix plant mixing chamber.
“The test sections passed all Georgia’s quality control and quality acceptance requirements, including smoothness and density,” Wu said.
Georgia DOT continued its research in 2008, placing more projects using the dry process to incorporate the crumb rubber modifier and experimenting with the amounts of crumb rubber/TOR modifier and RAP to see if they could maintain the same positive results.
Based on the successful results of the 2007 and 2008 projects, the Georgia DOT approved a special provision for crumb rubber modifier in Section 820 of the state materials specification that states “Crumb rubber modified PG 76-22 is an acceptable alternative to SBS or SB modified asphalt and can be used at the contractor’s discretion.” It also specified the quality of the rubber as “30 mesh size ambient or cryogenic ground tire rubber at 10% of weight of total asphalt cement content. Trans-Polyoctenamer shall be added at 4.5% of the weight of the crumb rubber to achieve better particle distribution.”
“What this did was allow rubber into the performance grade specifications, “Doug Carlson, Vice President, Asphalt Products, Liberty Tire Recycling said. “Prior to this crumb rubber had been excluded from the PG-specifications. Now it can go head-to-head with polymers in Georgia highway and state road projects.”
One of the most promising results of Georgia’s rubberized asphalt projects is the ability to use rubber with RAP. This pairing has proven to be beneficial is several ways. It means additional savings from the use of reclaimed materials versus virgin materials, Carlson said. And, Georgia researchers found that with the appropriate formulation, crumb rubber modified asphalt can actually improve workability and thus allow higher percentages of RAP materials, further reducing the demand for virgin asphalt.
Given the high price of polymers and asphalt, this can be a direct cost savings to asphalt producers and states of up to 10 percent per ton, Carlson said.
“Both crumb rubber and RAP are “green asphalt”, Wu said, noting that each is a reclaimed material that can be recycled at the end of pavement life reducing the need to use valuable landfill space.
Besides cost savings and improvements to the environment, experience in other states has shown that rubber modified asphalt pavements are more durable and extend the service life of the road as much as 60 percent. Roads stay darker and finished roads are quieter and smoother creating better driving conditions for motorists. Safety studies have also shown that rubber modified pavements allow for better skid resistance and decrease the stopping distance for vehicles in wet or dry conditions. And, Liberty’s Carlson reported that in Texas studies have demonstrated improved visibility of pavement markings in wet and inclement conditions.
Peter Wu believes other states' experience with durability and the robust structure of crumb rubber pavement will potentially lower the life cycle cost of crumb rubber modified pavements.
"It's important to Georgia's research to see the commonalities as well as the progress and developments in other states," he said.
The asphalt industry and the Georgia DOT will continue the research partnership and evaluate the performance of the rubber modified asphalt sections, which may become an alternate paving material in the state, Wu said.
"Just as important," Peter Wu said, "is getting the message out to municipal road departments in the state." While the Georgia DOT is responsible for 1800 center lane miles, cities and counties control 10,000 center lane miles in Georgia. Wu, who also participates in the Federal Highway Administration Long Term Pavement Performance Program, proposed working with Liberty to help city and county public works officials become more aware of Georgia's Section 820 specification and how to facilitate the use of crumb rubber modifier on their streets and roads.
One of Liberty's goals for the Recycle Atlanta program was to provide exposure to what other states are doing with rubberized asphalt, Doug Carlson said. For example, Louisiana, Florida and Alabama have programs similar to Georgia's PG specification for crumb rubber modifier. Alabama is now specifying rubber modified asphalt pavement on a case-by-case basis, Carlson said.
Liberty also wanted to raise awareness to the technical and cost saving characteristics recycled rubber brings to rubberized asphalt and many other products, Liberty's Dick Gust said. "Crumb rubber has come a long way from the early days of processing scrap tires. Today, it's recognized as a raw material with engineered and material properties that make it a desirable feedstock in many products and applications."
In the asphalt arena, for example, crumb rubber now costs less than most polymers, has performance properties equal to or better than polymers and is readily available.
"New technologies take time," Gust said. "They aren't easy to introduce in an established, time-tested industry like asphalt. By creating this exchange of ideas between the public and private sectors and providing educational training, we want to lead the way in advancing new products and services that will provide sustainable outlets for the millions of scrap tires generated annually in Georgia and the nation."
© Scrap Tire News, June 2011
ISRI Adopts Position Supporting Rubberized Asphalt
At its 2011 Convention and Expo in Los Angles (April 6 to April 10, 2011), the Washington, DC-based Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries, Inc., (ISRI), approved a position statement that supports the efforts of federal, state and local governments to use rubberized asphalt in their road construction projects.
Additionally, the position statement encourages rubberized asphalt use as an environmentally friendly way to draw down the nation’s stock of scrap tires currently stored in illegal tire piles across the country. Such tire piles are a contributing factor to the spread of diseases carried by insects. Eliminating this threat to human health and the environment has been a priority of the federal, state and local governments for decades.
“Rubberized asphalt is a proven material that has stood the test of time. It helps ensure scrap tires are recycled in an environmentally responsible manner and can provide enormous benefits for the driving public,” said ISRI President Robin Wiener.
To raise the profile and increase the awareness of the benefits rubberized asphalt, ISRI members voted to support federal, state and local legislation that:
- Releases funds currently allocated to rubberized asphalt projects ahead of other conventional asphalt surface paving projects;
- Seeks to expand the use of rubberized asphalt as the preferred material of choice when evaluating alternatives for a conventional asphalt surface project;
- Requires standards and specifications that would allow rubberized asphalt to be used whenever possible and;
- Seeks to reduce carbon emissions and climate change through the use of rubberized asphalt.
Advancing and promoting the use of this technology would ultimately benefit the public by the construction of safer, smoother and quieter roads, the policy noted.
The long-term cost savings states could realize by utilizing this technology can provide fiscal benefits in terms of lower maintenance costs. Additionally, the ability to ensure scrap tires are utilized in this environmentally friendly manner contributes to a reduction in the production of green house gas emissions.
© Scrap Tire News, May 2011
Alabama Encourages TDA Use
New septic tank initiative rebates residential systems.
A septic system project near Collins Chapel, Alabama installed last month is the first in the state to use tire-derived field aggregate (TDA) in lieu of sand or gravel in the installation of a septic tank drain field. The project is also the first to benefit from a new State program that provides grants to support the use of TDA as the drainage media in individual, residential systems.
Under the program, launched in January of this year, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) is making $100,000 available to increase awareness, and use of scrap materials in septic tank drain fields. The Collins Chapel project was eligible for a $2,500 reimbursement under the new ADEM program.
In order to participate in the reimbursement program, the septic system must be installed at a residence, and TDA must be utilized as the drainage media. The design and installation of the septic system must meet, or exceed, the requirements that have been established by the Alabama Department of Public Health.
In addition, the septic system must be installed by an installer that is licensed through the Alabama Onsite Wastewater Board.
The reimbursement also requires pre-approval from ADEM through the submittal of an application.
Preference will be given to installations that utilize TDA from scrap tires that are generated in Alabama.
To produce TDA, scrap tires are processed into smaller pieces ranging in size from 1/2 inch to a maximum four inches in any direction depending on the requirements of individual state specifications to TDA. The most commonly used TDA pieces are two inches in size, according to industry data.
Studies have shown that TDA performs as well as sand and gravel while being much easier to handle.
According to ADEM, Alabama residents produce more than 5 million scrap tires each year, and another four million are imported into Alabama annually for disposal. Although almost seven million scrap tires are beneficially reused each year, ADEM is hoping to improve this recycling rate through the septic tank system reimbursement program.
© Scrap Tire News, April 2011
EPA Decision Preserves Scrap Tire Markets
Scrap tires okay for fuel use. Ruling validates the economic and environmental viability of the tire recycling industry.
It was a long time coming but last month's U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) ruling to continue to allow scrap tires to be used as fuel is a landmark decision for the tire recycling industry.
It's announcement drew a collective round of surprise, relief and cautious optimism from tire recyclers, state scrap tire program managers and the many industry trade groups that lobbied EPA to deliver a rule that would preserve scrap tire markets.
All had feared that scrap tires might be defined as solid waste making them subject to more stringent and cost-prohibitive combustion requirements. At stake was a well-established tire derived fuel market that currently consumes more than 50 percent of the scrap tires generated annually in the U.S.
"EPA clearly listened to what the states and industry were telling them," Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) President Charles Cannon said. "Not only does EPA's decision preserve tire derived fuel as a viable end-market, it ensures the viability of scrap tire management programs across the country."
Tire Industry Association President Roy Littlefield agreed, calling EPA's ruling "a victory for tire recyclers, our members and the industry as a whole."
Under the new rules issued February 23, annually generated scrap tires (both whole and those that have been shredded with or without metal removed) managed under established tire collection programs are not solid waste and can be burned as non-waste fuel in combustion units.
But discarded tires (defined as those from scrap tire stockpiles) must be processed according to methods set forth in the final rule - including wire removal - before they can be burned as non-waste fuel.
Specifically, the ruling states "... EPA considers that previously discarded tires that have been made into TDF (shredded/chipped), sized, sorted and with a significant portion of the metal belts or wire removed, at a level appropriate for the unit, meets the definition of 'sufficient processing'."
Although EPA addresses its rationale for this level of processing in the rule making document, it remains a sticking point for the RMA, tire processors and cement industry fuel users.
The RMA said that, while it recognizes that EPA is still requiring processing of whole tires removed from scrap tire stockpiles, the association plans to continue to encourage EPA to consider a more expansive definition of processing to allow more of these tires to be combusted as tire derived fuel. RMA said it will also continue to evaluate the final rule for additional insights and impacts on the tire industry.
In addition, RMA is reviewing the new Clean Air Act rules for industrial boilers and solid waste incinerators for any limitations on alternative fuels that may result from the boiler standards. The scrap tire final rule is part of this larger set of regulations that establish the new Maximum Achievable Control Technology or Boiler MACT standards. EPA is reconsidering the new boiler rules and plans to seek public comment on new emissions standards for large and small boilers and for solid waste incinerators.
But for now, tire recycling stakeholders are pleased that their comments were considered and that scrap tires will continue to be used as a fuel by cement kilns, pulp and paper mills, electric utilities and as a raw material in hundreds of products and beneficial applications.
© Scrap Tire News, March 2011