NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Jan. 11, 2007) — Tennessee's proposal to raise its fees for scrap tire abatement brings up the need for a thorough review of the state's scrap tire program, the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) has told the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation in a letter
The state's Solid Waste Advisory Committee (SWAC) has proposed raising the fee on new passenger and light truck tires sold in the state to $1.25 from $1, and on large tires to $5 from $1. Also, the SWAC has proposed initiating a $1.25 fee on every new car sold in Tennessee.
But the real problem, according to the RMA, is that the structure of Tennessee's scrap tire program is cumbersome and unduly expensive, using funds for administration that could be used for research and market development.
“State scrap tire programs should be focused on the development and stimulation of sustainable markets for scrap tires,” wrote Christian Gullott, RMA director of government affairs, in the Dec. 31 letter. “Any consideration of increased revenues for Tennessee's scrap tire program should be accompanied with a significant review of the limitations of (the) program's current structure.”
According to the RMA's 2005 Scrap Tire Report, Tennessee sends 72 percent of the 5.9 million scrap tires it generates annually to some kind of end-market. This compares with the 87-percent recycling rate in the U.S. in general. The U.S. generates approximately 290 million scrap tires annually.