USTMA and TIA announce the formation of the Tire Recycling Foundation

Washington, DC – During its ninth Tire Recycling Conference, the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA), in partnership with the Tire Industry Association (TIA), announced the formation of the Tire Recycling Foundation. This new initiative will secure funding and allocate grants for research, education, intervention and demonstration projects targeting critical knowledge and research gaps within the U.S. tire recycling supply chain.

The Tire Recycling Foundation’s primary goal is to recycle 100% of end-of-life tires into circular, sustainable markets. “For the past thirty years, USTMA has advocated for sustainable end-of-life-tire management, but more work remains with only 71% currently recycled,” said Anne Forristall Luke, President and CEO of USTMA. “Through the Foundation and collaboration with our newly appointed board of directors, comprised of manufacturers, dealers, recyclers and transportation experts, we’re confident we can advance our goal of 100% circularity.”

The newly established Tire Recycling Foundation Board has set ambitious research initiatives to be supported with fundraising targets of $300,000 in 2025 and $2-3 million in 2026. “With this funding, we can conduct vital research and projects to address knowledge gaps and advance tire circularity,” said Dick Gust, CEO of TIA.

A key focus area for the Foundation is accelerating the adoption of rubber-modified asphalt (RMA), an emerging end-of-life tire market with performance, economic and environmental advantages. “Rubber modified asphalt delivers a trifecta of benefits—superior performance, economic efficiency and environmental sustainability,” stated John Sheerin, USTMA’s Director of End-of-Life Tire Programs.

RMA extends pavement lifespan, enhances skid resistance and ride quality, and reduces traffic noise. RMA has demonstrated its cost-effectiveness by minimizing maintenance requirements and total lifecycle costs. Sheerin emphasized RMA’s environmental benefits, “Perhaps most critically, its use reduces greenhouse gas emissions from improved fuel economy while also curtailing tire wear particle pollution. RMA represents a truly circular, sustainable solution that the Tire Recycling Foundation, along with our new Board of Directors, is committed to advancing industrywide.”

Accelerating RMA adoption will be a focus at the 2024 conference, which features an entire track dedicated to the market. Sessions will explore the state of knowledge, specifications across states, opportunities, implementation strategies from transportation agencies and realizing RMA’s sustainability benefits.

“By spearheading cutting-edge research and pilot projects into promising end-markets such as RMA and micronized rubber powder, we are charting a course toward a more sustainable future for end-of-life tires,” said Forristall Luke. “Through cross-sector collaboration that brings together regulators, environmental stewards and stakeholders throughout the tire recycling value chain, the Foundation can catalyze impactful solutions benefiting both industry and the environment.”