Welcome to the Spring Edition of ISRI’s Tire Beat. As I write this, we are all gearing up to gather next month at ISRI’s Annual Convention and Exposition; in sunny Los Angeles. Having been a part of some of the Convention planning, I can safely say it will be an event like none before – you do not want to miss it! On the programming front, the Convention will focus on a variety of topics. The one I find most fascinating looks ahead to predict what our industry will look like in five years. Two workshops, “Innovative Solutions to Common Recycling Challenges”, and “How What You’ll Be Recycling in Five Years Will Be Radically Different Than Today,” will both take a deep look into the crystal ball and help us prepare for the future. Understanding the challenges that lay before us is especially important for tire recyclers as our markets are constantly under threat.
Nowhere can these threats be demonstrated more clearly than in Maryland. A series of bills that seek to close off crumb rubber markets by restricting the use of synthetic turf (infill), and even more concerning, another potentially categorizing tires as hazardous waste, are threatening our industry. I wanted to highlight Maryland in this newsletter as it is demonstrative of what is happening around the country. Fortunately, we have an active presence in the state and are grateful to our members who are willing to take time away from their business to advocate for us. That said, we must remain vigilant as several other states throughout the country are pursuing similar bills. We appreciate ISRI’s efforts on our behalf, but all of us as industry members must stay focused and on the lookout for these risks to our business.
I also want to take a moment to update our group on some changes that will impact how we operate within ISRI. As you may be aware, during the Fall 2018 Governance Meetings, the Board of Directors passed several changes to ISRI’s By-Laws. One meaningful revision allows for Commodity Divisions to meet outside of the four ISRI Board & Governance Meetings each year. In practice, what does this mean? If many of our members are attending an industry event, we are now able to convene a Tire & Rubber Division Meeting to conduct business, the same as Chapters today. We can also raise and spend money within our Division, for example, in support of the Crumb Rubber Coalition. These changes affect each Commodity Division in different ways, but with so much overlap between our Chapter and Division Members, it should simplify things for us. After discussions with Tire Chapter President Art Dodge, one way we hope to improve is by changing the monthly Chapter call to a Division meeting which will include members of both groups. Stay tuned for information and the monthly schedule.
Of course, with all the above said, we will continue to hold the four in-person meetings per year during Board & Governance Meetings, the next of which is at Convention. As we prepare to meet in Los Angeles and catch up with old friends and make new contacts, we should also think about what is in store for the industry and how we can best meet those challenges head on. As always, if you have comments or ideas on what our Tire Division should focus on, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
Tire Division Chair