Recycling Old Tyres Oct02
in the UK we discard over 38 million car and lorry tyres as we change up
to 100,000 tyres a day! Rubber is a non-biodegradable material - so what
do we do with these amounts of tyres? Around 26 per cent (9.6 million
tyres) are illegally disposed of, stockpiled or landfilled - enough tyres
to stretch from London to Sydney or fill the Millennium Dome! Many of us
have seen evidence of illegal fly tipping as well as the ugly tyre
mountains which spoil our beautiful West Suffolk countryside.
European countries, used tyres are burnt to provide heat for district
heating communities. This method of disposal, whilst effective, causes
pollution to the environment contravening EU legislation. Tyre fires can
be almost impossible to extinguish and emit atmospheric and water-borne
pollutants - one fire lit 11 years ago at a landfill site in Powys, Wales,
is still burning! This form of disposal should be stopped immediately.
Landfilling the tyres is also not an option due the problems it creates
for our future generations. This has been recognised in a new European
Union Directive (COM(97)105) which bans the landfilling of whole tyres
after July 2003 and shredded tyres after July 2006.
increasing emphasis on the environment and sustainability means that
recycling, rather than disposal, should now be our preferred treatment
method for tyres. However, the sheer volume of scrap tyres being produced
means that current recycling methods (e.g. retreading or ‘crumbing’
the rubber for sports surfaces) are simply not enough.
disposal is clearly a growing problem for our Local Authorities in Eastern
region, as they are already struggling to handle the large number of
abandoned cars, fridges and electrical items that are dumped in our
countryside. Therefore, we need to find real solutions to address this
issue so that we are not faced with unnecessary additional costs which
will ultimately be passed on to the taxpayer.
is a unique way to extract the most valuable parts out of the vehicle
tyres e.g. Carbon Black, Tensile Steel, Gas and Oil. This can be done
without burning, without causing pollution or emission of harmful gases
and can even be used to produce green electricity! This innovative
recycling process has been around for years, but has never really taken
off due to the lack of commercial interest in the derived products.
However, a company in Essex, Eastern Region, has taken the initiative to
refine this process to produce mixtures of oils and chemicals that have
real commercial value. According to their experts, processing 2 tonnes of
waste tyres will produce up to 4,500 KW of energy with zero harmful
shall be working with this company to find out more about the recycling
process in order to help them secure appropriate EU funding which will
allow them to convert the growing tyre waste in our region into green
energy, and save our Local Authorities and rate payers substantial costs
in waste management.