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A recent caller to our office made me realize that the solution to the scrap tire problem might not be far off. This person had contracted for the rights to a supposedly new type of tire pulverizing machine that would reduce a scrap tire to a pile of material in seconds. The machine is not necessarily the answer, but the fact that this person with obviously no rubber industry knowledge was going to attempt to market a machine to the industry showed how far the interest in eliminating the problem of scrap tires has come. He wasn't particularly interested in what was to be done with the product created by pulverizing the tire, he just knew there was a lot of interest in reducing the number of scrap tires. It's similar to the interest shown a few years ago in the machinery to make protective gloves brought on by the AIDS scare. Many entrepreneurs dive in feet first with little knowledge of the water.

I don't think new equipment is the answer to the mounting problem of scrap tires, but the fact that people outside of the industry are looking at it is somewhat encouraging. What is also encouraging is that the problem is being addressed by many within the industry, whereas before it was always someone else's problem. The RMA set up a scrap tire council that is moving in several directions trying to find markets for recycled scrap tires, and the Rubber Division will hold a symposium at its Orlando meeting. They join the Asphalt Rubber Producers Group who have been promoting the use of recycled tire material in pavement mixtures since incorporation in 1985. And they may have the best solution.

The ARPG, as their name implies, promotes the use of rubber in asphalt paving. Successful projects have been accomplished in Arizona, Texas and California. Ohio just announced it was going to pave a stretch of road for evaluation in that climate. Some projects in Phoenix, where the ARPG is headquartered, have been in place for more than 20 years and many are still performing today with little or no maintenance. The group estimates that if just 5% of the four million miles of roadway in the U.S. were resurfaced with asphalt-rubber, 300 million tires would be consumed. This is the number of tires that are discarded annually. Just through paving the "problem" can be taken care of, and, coupled with work by the others mentioned, maybe pictures of massive tire dumps and huge tire fires will be a thing of the past.
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Title Annotation:Asphalt Rubber Producers Group promoting use of recycled tires in pavement
Author:Smith, Don R.
Publication:Rubber World
Article Type:editorial
Date:Jul 1, 1991
Previous Article:H. Muehlstein & Co.
Next Article:A new fix up.

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