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November 2006
American Recycler Masthead

Recycled tire market approaches equilibrium

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Consumers are demanding more rubber products derived from recycled tires and that is helping companies like Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based Dodge-Regupol Inc.

“The market for green products in general is on the rise,” said Kathleen Keller, director of marketing at Dodge-Regupol. She said the growing awareness of the negative footprint that building products have on the environment is helping boost demand.

Dodge-Regupol manufactures cork, cork/rubber and recycled rubber products for commercial, fitness and industrial applications. It converts more than 2.75 million tires annually into original equipment manufacturer, industrial and architectural applications.

Keller said that the growing awareness of the negative footprint that building products can have on environment is helping boost demand in the commercial sector. She said that government mandates that certain buildings use green products also helps.

Since Dodge-Regupol is privately held, Keller would not release revenue numbers. But she characterized business as good. She expects sales to continue to grow next year. She said higher costs are impacting margins. Plus, global competition is having some impact. But she said the biggest impact now is the demand for green products.

“Supply and demand is at a very good state at this point in time,” said Michael Blumenthal, senior technical director at the Rubber Manufacturers Association. The Washington DC – based association represents more than 100 rubber manufacturers.

“There is almost a point of equilibrium between supply and demand, which is a vast improvement over past years when supply exceeded demand,” Blumenthal said.

Blumenthal said demand for ground rubber from tires has increased over the last couple of years. “As demand goes up, supply is keeping up with demand,” he said. more



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