A bill before the Vermont Senate to mandate state tire labeling and scrap tire use requirements would be extremely impractical if implemented, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA).
As envisioned by the bill's sponsors, tires sold in Vermont would bear distinctive markings for that state only, to ensure they also were recycled within the state.
The legislation would require the Vermont Agency of Transportation to contract for the collection of scrap tires from solid waste management facilities throughout the state. The agency would take delivery of the shredded tires and use them for rubberized asphalt, civil engineering and other state projects.
This bill, however, would be impractical on virtually all fronts, starting with the Vermont-only labeling requirement, according to the RMA.
``It's not like you can slap a sticker on tires intended for sale in Vermont because it may not stay there,'' an RMA spokesman said. ``You can't brand a tire-that has problems in itself-and molding the tire would be wholly ineffective.''
John Falardeau, RMA state legislative manager, expanded on the association's objections to the bill before a Feb. 5 hearing of the Vermont Senate Transportation Committee.
``If a marking system were to be created, it could very likely be copied and used to mark out-of-state tires, which would defeat the intention of the legislation,'' Mr. Falardeau said. ``Branding the tire at the manufacturing point would mean the creation of Vermont-only tires and opens up the potential for other states enacting similar customization.''
Also, Vermont's sparse annual scrap tire generation and the lack of a profit motive for collecting and shredding scrap tires would doom the bill's scrap tire provisions before they got started, he said.
Vermont generates approximately 600,000 scrap tires per year, or about half of what it would need for the road and civil engineering projects envisioned in the bill, according to Mr. Falardeau. As for the collection and shredding provisions, ``it is highly unlikely that any commercial entity will pick up scrap tires without any assurances that they will be paid,'' he said.
Vermont's legislative session ends April 30, according to the RMA.