NOVEMBER 2008

Tire industry works to eliminate lead from waste stream

Tire companies, big box stores and the government are putting the brakes on the use of lead wheel weights. Through EPA’s National Lead-Free Wheel Weight Initiative, partners have agreed to phase in the use of lead-free alternative wheel weights.

EPA estimates that 50 million pounds of lead per year are used for wheel weights in cars and light trucks. It is common for wheel weights to come off easily when a vehicle is in operation. Lead-containing wheel weights also add lead into the waste stream at the end of product life.

The charter members include Firestone Complete Auto Care; Firestone Racing; Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.; Costco Wholesale; Wal-Mart Tire and Lube Express; Sam’s Club Tire and Battery Centers; Wal-Mart Transportation; Hennessy Industries Inc.; Perfect Equipment; 3M Automotive Division; the U.S. Air Force; U.S. Postal Service; General Services Administration; Ford Motor Co.; General Motors Corp.; Chrysler; Plombco; the Association of International Automobile Manufacturers; the Town of Blacksburg, Virginia; the Ecology Center; Sierra Club; the Environmental Council of States and several small businesses.