TIA Environmental Advisory Council Updates Average Scrap Tire Weight

BOWIE, Md. – After conducting a field study of scrap tires in the U.S., the Environmental Advisory Council (EAC) of the Tire Industry Association (TIA) has updated to 25 pounds from 20 pounds the average weight for passenger and light truck tires taken off vehicles.

This figure, known as Passenger and Light Truck Tire Equivalent (PLTTE), is important because it is used in scrap tire rules and regulations in many states, according to Richard “Dick” Gust, EAC chairman. State agencies and organizations use the PLTTE to estimate the weight of materials in scrap tires and to determine scrap tire recycling and diversion rates. 

The need to update the weight of the average scrap passenger and light truck tire came from companies within the scrap tire industry that suggested the 20 pounds per scrap tire figure was too low due to the increased size of passenger tires and the use of larger and heavier light truck tires on SUV and passenger vehicles. This led to concerns that the 20 pounds per tire was leading to the underestimating of scrap tire figures. “The new weight will give us a better number for scrap tires and the use of them,” said Mary Sikora, president of Recycling Research Institute and publisher of Scrap Tire News and an EAC member.

To determine the new average weight figure, Liberty Tire Recycling L.L.C. conducted a field study between March and April of 2020 in four states, according to information in a recently published EAC glossary of tire and rubber recycling terms and definitions. In Florida, Illinois and Utah 100 tires were measured as they were unloaded from take-off collection vehicles in a tire recycling facility. The average weight of these tires was 25.3 pounds.

A separate study in California over a 10-day period in April 2020 came to a similar conclusion. That study, conducted at the Lakin Tire facility in Santa Fe Springs, Calif., looked at 35,000 tires as they were being processed through shredders. Each day, the number of processed tires was counted, and the raw material generated was weighed. This study determined the average raw material weight from these processed tires was 25 pounds.

Armed with these results, the EAC wants to get the word out to the scrap tire and rubber recycling markets and government agencies to use the new 25-pound average weight per scrap passenger and light truck tires going forward when determining the number of tires recycled and the amount of raw materials generated.

TIA’s Environmental Advisory Council is made up of industry experts from various disciplines who can provide strategic information, advisory services, education programs and government assistance to promote environmental awareness, economic viability and sustainable best practices for every aspect of the tire and rubber industry.