In response to increasing interest from members in “nontraditional” scrap commodities, ISRI formed an ad hoc tire/rubber committee in 1990 to examine issues related to recycling scrap tires.
The group held its first meeting in New York in December 1990, and it became a full committee at the ISRI board’s July 1991 meeting in Minneapolis. The scrap tire issue presented daunting challenges in the early 1990s. “In the United States, more than 2 billion scrap tires awaiting some recovery or disposal solution are overflowing in legal and illegal stockpiles, where they can be fire hazards, breeding grounds for disease-carrying mosquitoes, and environmental eyesores,” Scrap magazine noted in 1992. “On top of that, another 242 million or so tires are discarded every year.” Those challenges, however, also represented significant opportunities that entrepreneurial recyclers would pursue in subsequent years.