LOUISVILLE, Ky.-Tire retreaders and recyclers can't rely on the federal government alone to create markets for their products, environmental attorney William Kovacs said at the recent ARA World Tire Conference & Exhibition in Louisville. Rather, they must band together and directly participate in the formation of at least three potentially enormous markets for reused and recycled tires, Mr. Kovacs said during the conference's general session.
Federal laws and regulations that have attempted to create markets for retreads and scrap tires have been all but stopped by politically active people whose livelihoods depend on the sale of virgin materials, he said.
The Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, created 18 years ago to ensure the government procured recycled products and retreads, has only recently been enforced, Mr. Kovacs said, noting that even in 1992 only $5 million out of the federal government's total tire budget of $163 million went to retreads.
The federal government's vehicle fleet is one market retreaders must aggressively pursue, he contended.
The tire industry can also take advantage of the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act's mandates for rubberized asphalt and a 1976 obligation requiring federal heating plants to use available waste-derived fuels.
``There are tremendous market opportunities,'' he said. ``What this industry needs to do is organize now (to) control its own destiny.''