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The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) disclosed that Michael Blumenthal, vice president, Environment & Resource Recovery will retire

from RMA effective July 11, 2014. Blumenthal has led RMA’s scrap tire management effort since 1990.

RMA hired Blumenthal in October 1990 as the executive director of RMA’s Scrap Tire Management Council. At the time, scrap tire stockpiles were identified as a leading solid waste problem in the U.S. Only 11 percent of all scrap tires went to an end use market while EPA estimated that more than 1 billion scrap tires were in piles. Today, about 85 percent of scrap tires are reused in a market and tire stockpiles have been reduced to slightly more than 100 million tires.

Few viable scrap tire markets existed in the early 1990s and most states were in early phases of developing scrap tire management programs. RMA mounted its effort to address the environmental problems posed by scrap tires through advocacy of state regulations, development of end use markets and stockpile abatement. RMA also sought to compile and make available pertinent information on scrap tire management, abatement, markets and other research as it became available.

Blumenthal has coordinated nearly three dozen national and regional conferences on scrap tire management and spoken at more than 200 trade shows and conferences since 1990. He also has led RMA activity to address scrap tire issues along the US/Mexico border since 1995 and was the signatory for the U.S. tire manufacturers commitment in an accord between the U.S. and Mexico.
Among his early successes, Blumenthal played an integral part to help publish numerous studies and reports on scrap tire markets; a report on tire leachate, a comprehensive report on tire derived fuel emissions and a manual that provides an overview of the issues to consider to start a scrap tire business.

Published in the May 2014 Edition of American Recycler News