WASHINGTON, D.C. — Scrap tire recycling in the U.S. has "stalled," according to the latest statistics from the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA).
The rate of scrap tire recycling dropped roughly 20% from 2013 to 2019, the USTMA states in its 2019 Scrap Tire Management Report, falling to nearly 76% from 96%.
"Three decades after we successfully eliminated 94% of the over 1 billion scrap tires stockpiled around the country, this report reveals that efforts to find and develop new uses for scrap tires have stalled," USTMA CEO Anne Forristall Luke said.
"We must take immediate steps to grow new and existing markets to recycle 100% of scrap tires. This not only protects our health and the environment — it drives innovation and jobs."
The USTMA looks at the scrap tire market every two years, and this is the association's 14th such report.
Scrap tire generation grew by almost 7% in 2019 versus 2017, the new report states, but the number of scrap tires that were recycled or reclaimed did not change during the same period.
Popular uses for tires include use as fuel or mulch for landscaping. They also are used in rubber modified asphalt and automotive products.
The report also finds that the nation's stockpile of used tires stood at about 56 million in 2016 with a most being in a handful of states — Arizona, Colorado, Michigan, New Jersey, New Mexico, Texas, Virginia and Washington.