WASHINGTON — The U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) and Tire Industry Association (TIA), together with 14 other stakeholder organizations, are urging the Biden administration to use more scrap tire materials in national infrastructure improvements.
In a joint letter sent to Biden administration officials, the stakeholders identified specific provisions within the $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure legislation passed last year in which these materials could be considered.
"Our nation is making once-in-a-generation investments in our country's infrastructure, and we want to be active participants in ensuring the success of these efforts," USTMA President and CEO Anne Forristall Luke said.
"As a coalition, we view this as a critical opportunity to identify mutually beneficial uses of scrap tire materials that have the potential to meet a variety of mutual societal and policy goals."
The letter, addressed to Mitch Landrieu, the Biden administration's senior adviser infrastructure coordinator, lays out a list of potential uses for scrap tire materials that would help fulfill the administration's mission to minimize waste, prevent pollution, support markets for recycled material and promote a transition to a circular economy.
“This document is a perfect example of industry stakeholders coming together to support the valued products made from scrap tire raw material. Rubber Modified asphalt and tire-derived aggregate are sustainable products that will offer outstanding performance when used in our nation’s infrastructure," said TIA CEO Richard “Dick” Gust.
"The letter clearly defines the outstanding benefits for each of these tire-derived products and encourages their use to advance sustainability in our circular economy. TIA is proud to be a member of this coalition and will continue to partner with the coalition’s members to promote tire recycled products that are extremely beneficial to the environment while at the same time delivering performance benefits to the country’s infrastructure," he said.
According to the USTMA, these efforts would include the use of rubber-modified asphalt (RMA) — a mixture of asphalt with ground rubber from end-of-life scrap tires — that "delivers proven economic, environmental, and performance benefits" when used in building roads and highways.
The USTMA also suggested tire-derived aggregate (TDA) — made from recycled scrap tires — as a cost-effective infill material for sustainable infrastructure in applications such as roadside embankments, retaining walls and stormwater infiltration galleries.
“TIA looks forward to the opportunity to reengage with the Biden Administration, members of Congress, Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency with this powerful stakeholder coalition to further our tire recycling goals in sustainability and infrastructure resiliency within the bipartisan infrastructure law," TIA Director of Government Affairs Roy Littlefield IV said.
"TIA is eager to advance with our stakeholders and federal partners technologies that support markets for end-of-life tires. Various provisions are available within the infrastructure law to reach these goals that TIA has long supported," he said.
"Our organizations work to keep end-of-life tires out of landfills by promoting strong, societally beneficial markets for scrap tires," the letter states, "and we support efforts to rebuild and improve America's roadways using technologies that will increase driver safety and ensure reductions in environmental impacts."
Other groups and companies that signed the letter are:
American Bus Association; Asphalt Plus; CM Shredders; Crumb Rubber Manufacturers; EcoGreen Equipment; First State Tire Recycling; Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries Inc., International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers Inc.; Liberty Tire Recycling; Missouri Center for Transportation Innovation; The Ray; TDA Manufacturing; Tiger Eye Engineering; and United Motorcoach Association.