In 2006 over 100,000 worn tyres were taken off cars, trucks and earthmover vehicles. About 70% of these tyres were recycled, 28% were added to landfill or stockpiled and created a major waste problem.
Piles of stockpiled tyres can present a fire hazard, even tyres in landfill sites can be ignited. Once started, these fires are difficult to extinguish and can burn for days as we often see in the news. Burning tyres give off some serious pollutants including water borne pollutants. Tyres in landfill sites can be unstable and tend to rise to the surface, creating potential fire hazards and limiting options for future land use.
Now under the EU Landfill Directive whole tyres including agricultural and earthmover tyres are banned from landfill. Small numbers of discarded tyres are being given new life as boat fenders and playground equipment. However in reality re-treading of used tyres and recovery of materials are the main methods of recycling.
For trucks, retreading is a well-established part of tyre management, reducing both cost and environmental impact. When the time comes to change your tyres, you can reduce the impact of tyres on the environment by opting for a retreaded tyre?
Re-treading doubles the life of a tyre, reducing the numbers of new tyres needed and minimising waste. There are two methods of retreading tyres. The pre-cure process involves bonding a new rubber tread onto the prepared tyre casing. In the mould-cure process, uncured rubber is applied to the casing and vulcanised in a mould to give the new tread. For truck tyres 8 retreads are sold for every 10 new tyres.
Approximately 500,000 tonnes of used tyres are created from tyre sales outlets and vehicle dismantlers. About 80% of used tyre arising are collected and processed by operators subscribing to the Industry’s Responsible Recycler Scheme.
Recovery of materials from tyres has become more efficient. The main technique is to shred and reduce the rubber to crumb, and use this as a moulding material or filler. Applications include brake linings, carpet underlay, equestrian, sports and safety surfaces, including playgrounds, as well as surfacing for roads, paths, and low grade use as landscape mulch or waste oil absorbent.
To reduce waste and save money, to treat your tyres properly for maximum tyre life.