OKLAHOMA CITY - Every year in this country some 275 million worn out tires are thrown away. Some are being recycled, but Senator Carol Martin would like to see more of that being done here in Oklahoma. The problem is tire-recycling companies can only take in as many tires as they send out in the form of recycled products. In other, the input can only be as great as the output.
"It means we need to do a better job of using recycled tires. That's why I authored Senate Resolution 61, which urges private businesses, state agencies and other concerned citizens to use every opportunity available to use products made from recycled waste tires, especially crumb rubber," explained Senator Martin, R-Comanche.
Old tires can be processed into crumb rubber. During the processing, all wire is removed, and the final product consists of rubber and string fibers.
"Crumb rubber is excellent for surfacing playgrounds or sports arenas. I'm sure any parent who has a child can relate to the safety issue of using crumb rubber on playgrounds. I'm astounded when I see a playground with small rocks as ground cover. Crumb rubber is a much safer surface than rocks or sand," said Martin.
A recent study published by the National Conference of State Legislatures entitled "Developing Recycling Markets to Boost Economic Development" pointed to the advantages that can be gained when state legislatures encourage recycling and market development for recycled materials.
"We are fortunate to have such a recycling business in my district. The Four D Corporation in Duncan turns old tires into crumb rubber. There are other tire recycling centers throughout Oklahoma as well. In terms of greater safety for children using playgrounds in schools and parks, and the positive impact on the quality of our environment, I'd like to see more companies and individuals utilizing these products," noted Martin.
Copies of SR 61, which was approved by the full Senate will be distributed to the Department of Central Services, Education, Tourism and Recreation and Transportation.
"A resolution is not a mandate. In other words it isn't forcing anyone to do anything. But it does help bring attention to a particular issue, such as the benefits of using recycled waste tires. Hopefully these state agencies will help us get the word out that this is a good thing to do for Oklahoma," said Senator Martin.