Automotive Tire Recapping:

Dollars and Energy Can Be Saved

LCD-78-210: Published: Jan 11, 1978. Publicly Released: Jan 11, 1978.

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The use of recapped tires offers the potential for substantial savings in operating government vehicle fleets and in conserving energy resources through procurement of products containing recycled material. Although 1 million replacement tires are required annually for government-owned vehicles, only about 25 percent of the replacements are recapped tires.

Each year the government spends over $29 million for about 716,000 new replacement tires and about $5 million to recap 254,000 tires. The replacement cost of new tires for the recapped tires would be about $15.6 million. Several government and commercial tests have shown that recaps can perform as well as new tires. A pricing survey in 1976 disclosed that recap prices for selected popular tire sizes were 25-percent to 49-percent lower than new tire prices. The Army reported an overall use rate for recapped tires of 67 percent with accompanying cost savings of 49 percent. Although federal agencies have adopted policies which authorize the use of recapped tires, they have not developed effective programs and guidelines to encourage recap use.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: The Acting Director, Office of Management and Budget, should establish an overall policy directive requiring agencies to develop effective guidelines and programs for recapping tires. These guidelines should: (1) provide specific standards for using recaps; (2) ensure that tires are made available for recapping; and (3) require effective quality control, reporting, and monitoring systems to provide agencies feedback on the success of their recapping efforts.

    Agency Affected:


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