The United States just completed its ten year population census report and our country has almost 310 million people living in it presently. On average, the number of scrap tires generated in this country annually is about equal to the population. So this means that our country is creating around 310 million waste/scrap tires that have to be recycled on a yearly basis. And of course the primary way that these tires are recycled each year is by shredding them into pieces.
Each state has different laws pertaining to how much a tire must be torn up or processed before it can be land filled. And all states have their own agencies that watch these tire processing sites and issue them permits and most also require large bonds to ensure that these sites will be cleaned up properly when the business closes. Most states also assess fees on each new tire that is sold in that state to help with the cleaning up of all the waste/scrap tires that are created each year and also to help with the cleaning up of previous waste/scrap tire sites that were created over the past eighty or ninety years since we’ve used motor vehicles. In addition to this fee the person disposing of these tires generally has to pay a tipping fee of from $.50- $2.00 per passenger tire to the tire processing facility to ensure that the tire is disposed of correctly and will meet each state’s guide lines for tire recycling.
Currently this is what is happening with most of the tires presently being recycled in the United States each year.
Tire derived fuel markets (TDF)-estimated 2010 consumption: 150 million tires
Of these tires that were burned many were used whole in Cement Kilns while others had to be halved or quartered and even some had to be shred down to 2″ chips to meet the air permits of each of these plants. The United States presently has 41 of these Cement Kilns or facilities that are burning tires. Also many of these tires were used in Pulp and Paper mills around the country and most of these would have been shred down to 1″-2″ chips before being burned for heat. The United States presently has 12 of these facilities permitted to burn this product. The United States presently has several major Utility & Industrial Boilers that burn this product as well and these tires would also have to be shred down to 1″-2″ in size in order feed these boilers. We presently only have one dedicated site that only burns tires to produce energy and in the past we’ve had several.
Civil Engineering Markets– estimated 2010 consumption: 30 million tires
This is one of the fastest growing areas but it is still very small when compared to all the others. Most of these gains have been in drainage applications and are made up of the following applications which include: lightweight fill for embankments, sub grade insulation for roads, backfill for walls and bridge abutments, landfill construction and operation, and finally septic system drain fields. Most of these applications require the tires to be shred down in 2″-4″ size chips.
Ground Rubber Markets– estimated 2010 consumption: 60 million tires
This market also is continuing to grow at a very fast pace and it is made up of the following different types of uses. First is rubber modified asphalt, next is molded products, then surfacing/ground cover, and finally tires, & automotive. All these applications require that the tires are shred down into crumb rubber in many different size meshes.
Landfilled Tires– estimated 2010 consumption: 70 million tires
This still remains one of the primary ways of disposing of tires yet today. Many places don’t have any of the other markets available to them so they are forced to dispose of there tires by this method. And many of the landfills only require that tires are cut in half or quartered and they don’t need to be shred at all. So when we say waste/scrap tire recycling you can see that many of these tires are still ending up being used to fill up costly landfill space which could be better used on many other types of non-reusable materials.
We feel that this Industry still has a tremendous amount of potential growth over the next several years to get these tires out of the landfills and into more beneficial uses. And the largest areas of growth we believe will come in the Civil Engineering markets as well as the Ground Rubber Markets. We just advise you to do your homework and make sure that you first of all have a good source of tires available. Then make sure that your tipping fee is large enough to allow you to make a profit on the front end of processing the tire. And do a considerable amount of home work on what markets you think might be the most financially beneficial to your business in the long run on the back end.
We here are Unlimited Resources Corporation are knowledgeable in many of these markets. We would be happy to assist you in examining these markets and the equipment that is required to enter the markets.