New York State Begins Scrap Tire Recycling Program
Washington, DC— After many years of debate and
a hard-fought effort by the tire industry, New York State enacted a law
to clean up millions of scrap tires and to encourage viable markets for
millions of additional old tires that are discarded every year.
The measure was initially vetoed by New York Governor
George Pataki but was overridden by the Legislature.
The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), which represents
tire makers, said that the new law is long overdue to clean up the state's
40-50 million stockpiled scrap tires - the nation's second highest amount
after Texas. Additionally, New Yorkers generate another 20 million scrap
RMA testified earlier this year before the New York
Legislature urging the state to adopt a scrap tire program that included
a dedicated fee, stockpile abatement and development of viable scrap tire
markets for fuel, civil engineering projects and products such as playground
The new law creates a dedicated fee to fund scrap tire
clean up efforts across the state and to help establish end use markets
for scrap tires. A $2.50 fee will be collected at point-of-purchase for
all new tires sold. An additional $2.50 per-tire fee (including the spare
tire) will be assessed on purchasers of new vehicles bought in the state.
The new fees take effect on October 1 and are expected
to raise $28 million through March 31, 2004. Beginning April 1, 2004,
the fees are expected to generate $56 million annually. Only part of those
funds will be directed to a new scrap tire fund. Through March 31, 2004,
$8.125 million will be put into the fund and $16.25 million will be available
annually for scrap tire activities beginning April 1, 2004.
"We are disappointed that New York is going to
use a significant portion of the tire fee to spend for purposes other
than scrap tire cleanup and market development," Michael Blumenthal,
RMA senior technical director, said.
An earlier scrap tire proposal by Governor Pataki would
have generated only $2.5 million for scrap tire efforts. The governor
had proposed a $2.50 fee on all new tires but would have directed 80 percent
of it to the state's general fund to help alleviate New York's budget
deficit. Only ten percent would have been designated for scrap tire cleanup
and the remaining funds would have gone to tire dealers to cover administrative
costs for collecting the fees. RMA vehemently opposed that plan.
"A much greater percentage of the fees paid by
consumers in this bill will go directly to address a significant environmental
problem in New York," Blumenthal said. "Additionally, the fees
are scheduled to end when this law sunsets in 2010."