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[GreenYes] Tire Recycling
     According to the 12/5/02 Wall Street Journal ("States' Fee Programs for
Tires Yield Big Gain in Recycling Rate," by John Fialka) --
"The nation's rate of recycling materials or products from worn-out tires
has tripled since 1990, reducing or eliminating huge piles of old tires that
once dotted the landscape.

According to a report issued by the Rubber Manufacturers Association, state
programs that charge a small recycling fee for new tires have created
markets for old tires , ranging from electricity production to more
shock-absorbing and durable athletic fields. In 1990, only 25% of scrap
tires were reused. Last year, the reuse rate rose to 78%.

The result leaves only nine states with large standing piles of discarded
tires , a group led by Texas, New York and Michigan. "There are 50 different
tire-disposal programs out there. No two of them are alike," explained
Michael Blumenthal, a senior technical director for the rubber association,
which has provided research and technical advice to the states.

Since 1994, the number of scrap tires that were accumulating in standing
piles has dropped from an estimated 800 million to about 300 million,
according to the association. Because tires have a higher energy content
than coal, the standing piles present a major fire and environmental hazard.
When water collects in old tires , massive piles also function as a breeding
ground for mosquitoes.

Mr. Blumenthal credits Minnesota's legislature with creating the pioneer
tire-reuse program in 1985. "They wrote the book," he said, explaining that
the state imposed a $1 fee on consumers for each new tire and used the money
to find uses for the four million tires scrapped there every year.

The Minnesota program cleaned up the state's tire piles and found so many
paying markets for old tires that the state has since eliminated the fee.
Illinois's program, which copied Minnesota's approach, has been so
effective, according to Mr. Blumenthal, that the state exhausted its
scrap-tire supply and now imports about six million old tires from other
states to feed its markets. Companies that reuse old tires include
utilities, which burn them to make electricity, and cement manufacturers,
which bake them in kilns with other ingredients to produce Portland cement.


Peter Anderson
4513 Vernon Blvd. Suite 15
Madison, WI 53705
Ph:    (608) 231-1100
Fax:   (608) 233-0011
Cell    (608) 438-9062

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