Currently, some 10 million scrap tires are generated annually in Michigan and processed into tire-derived fuel, other uses, and disposed of in authorized landfills. And while Michigan is considered a leader in the U.S. in how it handles scrap tires, opportunities exist to expand its use.
The latest report on scrap tires in Michigan lays out opportunities to create a market development strategy to create and grow new scrap tire markets.
"Markets for scrap tires in Michigan are changing, so the state must continue to support growth of new markets that are more sustainable and economically viable," said Kirsten Clemens, EGLE scrap tire coordinator. "By taking action, Michigan can transition the scrap tire industry from one of managing waste to 'creating economic value.' The result will be a robust circular tire economy of the future."
The report, prepared by Resource Recycling Systems (RRS), was funded by a grant by the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). RRS as part of the grant also identified best management practices for scrap tire recycling and produced a director of scrap tire businesses.
The report includes nine recommendations, with the adoption of rubber modified asphalt (RMA) cited as the top priority that could serve as a focal point for all other actions to follow. An RMA project in the Upper Peninsula's Dickinson County was featured in MI Environment in 2019. The Dickinson County Road Commission received an award in April this year for the research project from the County Road Association of Michigan for its innovative road surface using repurposed rubber.
For more information on EGLE's scrap tire program, visit its website.
Photo caption: Cover of Scrap Tire Market Development Study