WASHINGTON-If current market trends continue throughout 1996, the much-maligned scrap tire may emerge as the most re-usable secondary material in the country, according to the Scrap Tire Management Council, a division of the Rubber Manufacturers Association that promotes market development for scrap tires. According to STMC statistics, of the 253 million scrap tires generated in the U.S. last year, 69 percent were consumed in the marketplace-a 26-percent increase over 1994.
``This new level of demand is truly amazing when you consider that as recently as 1990 market demand for scrap tires was a mere 11 percent of the total number generated annually,'' said STMC Executive Director Michael Blumenthal.
And, according to STMC Chairman John Serumgard, ``it is not unreasonable that we will have demand for more than 75 percent of all the scrap tires generated by the end of 1996. This would make scrap tires the most re-usable secondary material in the nation.''
The largest increase in scrap tire consumption last year was in the tire-derived fuel market, where 130 million tires were burned to fuel cement kilns and power generators vs. 101 million tires in 1994.
Civil engineering and ground rubber applications each consumed 33 percent more scrap tires in 1995 than in the previous year.
Only the pyrolysis market experienced a downturn in scrap tire use, which the STMC attributed to no full-time, commercially operational facilities and a virtual shut-down of demonstration sites.