RMA co-sponsors scrap tire management conference

Feb. 25, 2005

The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) and the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) will jointly host the 4th Southeastern Regional Scrap Tire Management Conference May 12–13, 2005. It will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in downtown Little Rock, Ark.

Co-sponsors of the event include the 10 Arkansas Waste Tire Management Districts and the Arkansas Independent Tire Dealers Association.

The conference will focus on scrap tire issues in 13 states representing EPA Regions 4 and 6: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia. Regulatory and legislative programs, as well as the major markets for scrap tires (rubber modified asphalt, civil engineering, coarse rubber and tire-derived fuel), will be addressed.

"This is an extended region with considerable demand for scrap tires, yet there remain sections that need additional markets and scrap tire infrastructure," says Michael Blumenthal, senior technical director of the RMA. "Our goal for this conference will be to improve the movement of scrap tires and increase market demand for tire-derived products.

"We are glad to be working with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality. They are very supportive of this process and are working to improve the scrap tire situation in the region through the promotion of sound business practices and helping the market infrastructure of the scrap tire industry."

Additional meetings to discuss scrap tire-related issues on a national and statewide basis also will be held at the Doubletree Hotel. They include the following:

May 13: The Automobile Recyclers Association will conduct a workshop for its members during the Regional Conference. This marks the group's first involvement in a scrap tire conference. The auto salvage industry handles about 20% of the scrap tires generated annually in the United States.

May 11: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Resource Conservation Challenge Scrap Tire Group will meet to discuss and develop working plans on several topics including tire-derived fuel, asphalt rubber, rubber markets and civil engineering applications. The work plans developed will be presented at the Southeastern Regional Tire Management Conference on May 12.

May 9: Arkansas DEQ and RMA will host a one-day workshop on tire-derived fuel.

"We are impressed with the overwhelming support by other states and are looking forward to advancing markets for scrap tires not only in our state, but throughout the region," says Elizabeth Hoover, Arkansas DEQ's scrap tire program coordinator.