Continental General Tire Uses State Grant to Enhance Recycling Research
2 August 1999Continental General Tire Uses State Grant to Enhance Recycling Research
Tire Manufacturer Seeks Stable Supply, State Aims to Reduce Landfills, Spur Business CHARLOTTE, N.C., Aug. 2 -- A novel, year-old, business- government partnership is helping Continental General Tire Inc. and the state of North Carolina achieve important strategic objectives. The arrangement helps Continental General Tire optimize tire recycling and helps North Carolina rid its landfills of scrap tires. Boosted by a $1.2 million state grant, Continental General Tire's recycling program aims to increase recycled rubber content in its tires and assure a stable local supply of recycled rubber material. Grant money is designated for use over four years, to subsidize intense research aimed at expanding recycled material usage. In Continental General Tire's case, the grant augments its established, ongoing recycling efforts. Since the grant arrangement began in July 1998, Continental General Tire's recycling program has kept 500,000 used tires out of landfills and significantly increased the percentage of recycled rubber material in its tires. "One year after applying the grant, we're recycling at a rate that keeps 12 million pounds of used tires out of landfills," said Ed Morant, Continental General Tire's director, materials/radial light truck development tire technology. "Our goal for the next 12 months is to increase that rate of usage." In July 1998, North Carolina granted Continental General Tire the funds through a Department of Environment and Natural Resources Division of Waste Management program called Development of Manufacturing Methods for Tire-to- Tire Reuse of Scrap Tires. "As we continue our efforts to protect our environment and the health and safety of our citizens, we welcome the contributions of private industry," said North Carolina Governor James B. Hunt, Jr. "This public-private initiative is another example of the progress we can make toward a cleaner environment if we work together to solve our problems." Through the grant, Continental General Tire benefits by helping its home state reduce landfills. Additionally, by recycling more tires, Continental General Tire hopes that more recyclers will start businesses in North Carolina and that current recyclers will stabilize and grow their companies. That would help rectify a scarce local supply of high-quality recycled tire material. Continental General Tire's elaborate testing procedures and stringent manufacturing standards ensure that tires containing recycled tire material perform as well as tires made from virgin rubber. Turning waste into a valuable resource complements Continental General Tire's strategic emphasis on technological innovation. Currently, Continental General Tire's radial passenger tires contain up to 6 percent recycled tire material, while radial light truck tires contain as much as 4 percent. "We expect the percentage of recycled tire material in our tires to increase up to 25 percent in the next four years," said Morant. "That will require a reliable supply of certain grades of recycled tire material that meets our manufacturing requirements. Recycling is the right thing to do. It makes sense for us, just as it does for the state of North Carolina." Based in Charlotte, N.C., Continental General Tire Inc. (http://www.contigentire.com ) is a group company of Germany-based Continental AG, a leading systems supplier to the automotive industry. With annual sales of approximately US$1.7 billion, Continental General Tire has 9,300 employees and operates plants in Bryan, Ohio; Charlotte, N.C.; Mayfield, Ky.; Mt. Vernon, Ill.; and Guadalajara and San Luis Potosi, Mexico. It is a major supplier to the original equipment and replacement tire markets, selling Continental, General and private brands in the United States.