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Old 08-25-2004, 10:47   #1 (permalink)
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US:Ford Tire Recycling Gives New Life To Old Tires

Ford Tire Recycling Gives New Life To Old Tires

Automotive Intelligence

ANN ARBOR, Mich. - This season, the Pioneer High School Pioneers and the Huron High School River Rats will be playing their games on newly resurfaced football fields - fields that are friendlier to the players as well as the environment. Ford Motor Company, working with Varsity Ford of Ann Arbor, has provided funds for athletic field projects using material made from recycled tires including tires collected from Ford and Lincoln-Mercury dealerships.

It's all a part of Ford Motor Company's efforts to make sure that millions of tires do not end up in the nation's landfills. For the past several years, Ford has partnered with the Recovery Technology Group, an organization that specializes in taking old tires and turning them into a substance known as "crumb rubber." The crumb rubber is then applied to surfaces such as roads, park playground mats, anti-fatigue mats, sports arena flooring, automotive parts, athletic fields, therapeutic riding arenas andother environmentally responsible applications.

"We are committed to taking the tires out of service in a positive way for the environment," explains Andy Acho, Worldwide Director of Environmental Outreach and Strategy for Ford Motor Company. "We want to be a catalyst to increase the demand for environmentally responsible use of 'retired' tires."

Tire crumb rubber is the substance created when discarded tires are shredded, cryogenically frozen and pounded into small pieces. After powerful magnets and vacuums remove the steel belts and fibers, the end product has purer rubber content than tires. This "rubber crumb" product is softer than other traditional athletic surfaces. The rubber crumb also is weather resistant and more durable than natural surfaces. The final product also is resilient and nontoxic.

This broad, proactive recycling effort began at Ford in1990 with the creation of the Recycling Action Team. Informally known as the "RAT Patrol," the group has worked for more than a decade proactively developing and implementing uses for post-consumer recycled materials including plastic and rubber in our vehicles. These materials are developed to make good business sense too - performing as well as or better than the materials they replace and being financially viable.

In recent years, Ford has worked with the support of the Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Transportation and other organizations to fund more than 130 tire crumb projects throughout the United States and Canada. To date, the projects have used more than 20 million pounds of crumb rubber.
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