WASHINGTON-Many an entrepreneur has entered the scrap tire processing business with dreams of turning garbage into gold only to wind up creating a money-pit-and an unmanageable tire pile. The Scrap Tire Management Council and Clean Washington Center hope their first jointly sponsored Scrap Tire Business Development Conference, dubbed ``Scrap Tire '94,'' Sept. 22-24 at the Sheraton Tacoma Hotel in Tacoma, Wash., will help tire recycling businesses develop sound business plans and marketing strategies.
But STMC Executive Director Michael Blumenthal admitted that the conference is geared, in part, to talking some people out of entering the scrap tire business, which is still hampered by limited markets, low profits and negative public perception.
The conference is meant to bring all aspects of the scrap tire recycling business-favorable and unfavorable-to the surface, Mr. Blumenthal said.
The sponsors recently released the final schedule for the conference, described as a dynamic meeting filled with straightforward, usable, hands-on information without commercialism.
Designed for scrap tire companies, state regulators, entrepreneurs and investors, Scrap Tire '94 encompasses various seminar topics, from how to set up a scrap tire recycling business to financing, management and marketing issues.
The sessions will be moderated by people involved in the scrap tire industry. Several tire industry, solid waste and recycling associations-including the National Tire Dealers & Retreaders Association and American Retreaders' Association-have endorsed the conference, Mr. Blumenthal said.
The conference already has generated interest from many areas, including corporate investors and overseas businessmen, Mr. Blumenthal said. The conference facilities can accommodate 350.
Washington Gov. Mike Lowry has been invited to open the proceedings with a keynote address.
The conference will conclude with a business mixer to enable attendees to meet and network with representatives of financial markets, tire processing firms, equipment vendors and others in the industry.
Seminar topics will include:
Issues affecting scrap tire market development-STMC Chairman John Serumgard will review the findings of the 1992 STMC/National Recycling Coalition conference at which attendees discussed obstacles impeding market expansion and methods to overcome the obstacles.
Principles of the scrap tire industry-the STMC's Mr. Blumenthal will discuss the basic principals of marketing and describe the critical factors of the business.
Material characterization-K.O. McElrath of Exxon Chemical will discuss tire construction and the effects and limits of technologies that claim to return scrap tires to their virgin components.
Assessment of processing equipment and its impact on particle characteristics-Charles Astafan of Columbus McKinnon Corp. will explain the characteristics of ground rubber particles obtained from each type of equipment class and their market applications.
Developing a business plan for a scrap tire company-Duke Castle of The Castle Group will explain how to develop a market strategy and how to write business plans for both start-up companies and existing firms looking to expand.
A comprehensive review of state and federal grant and loan programs-Mary Sikora of Recycling Research Institute, Janet Van der Wel of Financial Strategies & Economic Development and Haazim Rashed of National Development Group will discuss financing possibilities for scrap tire processing and retreading.
Markets for scrap tires-speakers will present sessions on the various end-uses for scrap tires, providing a market assessment and effective practices for each, including tire-derived fuel, civil engineering applications, ground rubber markets and emerging technologies.
Marketing concepts and public acceptance for scrap-tire-generated products-Robert Frause of EnviroAssociates of Seattle will discuss various issues related to public perception of scrap tire operations.
Private sector financing sources-a panel of investment bankers and venture capitalists will discuss the types of financial institutions involved with the industry and the options available.
Guidelines for an effective business operation-a panel will provide information on improving management operations at a scrap tire facility, undertaking midstream adjustments in a business plan, site management considerations and financial accounting and cost control.
For more information on Scrap Tire '94, contact the STMC, 1400 K St. NW, Suite 900, Washington, D.C. 20005; (202) 682-4880.