There may only be six states still in regular session, but prefiling has already begun in 10. As states gear up for the 2020 session, recyclers need to be on the lookout for bills and regulations targeting tires and rubber that will change how their businesses operate.
- NJ opportunity for rubberized asphalt
- Synthetic turf restrictions losing momentum
- EPR rising on West Coast and New England
New Jersey SB 4145 presents a possible opportunity on rubberized asphalt; while the bill itself targets the use of waste glass as an asphalt pavement fine aggregate mixture, this could be an opening for tire recyclers to discuss rubberized asphalt use by the state. The use of recyclable paving materials is currently encouraged by § 13:1E-99.28, including "crumb rubber from automobile tires" and "glass and glassy aggregates," but it does not set minimum requirements or require the development of specifications as seen in SB 4145 for glass.
While there were over 70 tire bills considered in the 2019 session and six bills in three states targeting synthetic turf moratoriums and other restrictions, momentum does appear to be dying on this issue. However, recent movements in West Coast and New England states towards Extended Producer Responsibility programs (EPR) for packaging and other materials raises the specter of past fights to keep EPR out of the tire recycling market.
Although synthetic turf issues may have stolen the stage, several New England states, particularly Connecticut and Vermont, have continued to debate EPR requirements for tires along with limits on the use of TDF following a 2015 Tire Stewardship symposium hosted in Connecticut. ISRI's Position on Producer Responsibility
opposes mandates that hold producers financially responsible to collect and recycle products that are being manufactured into commodity grade materials and sold into viable, commercial markets, such as tires.