Six new local governments join Tyre Stewardship

A further six local government authorities have received Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) accreditation, after using tyre-derived raw materials in infrastructure projects.

The six new local governments are Burdekin Shire Council (QLD), Campbelltown City Council (SA), Launceston Shire Council (TAS), Paroo Shire Council (QLD), Prospect City Council (SA) and Upper Hunter Shire (NSW).

TSA CEO Lina Goodman said having local authorities on board was a vital step towards ensuring the sustainable management of old tyres.

Ms Goodman also noted having more councils on board would help drive the commercial viability of developing new and improved tyre-derived products.

“Along with transport companies, local governments deploy significant fleets of vehicles,” Ms Goodman said.

“Ensuring that the tyre needs of those fleets are catered for only by entities committed to responsible end-of-life tyre management can make a significant impact on sustainable outcomes for the over 56 million end-of-life tyres Australia generates every year.”

According to Ms Goodman, all newly TSA accredited councils will be closely watching crumbed-rubber asphalt trials in South Australia’s City of Mitcham, with a view off specifying the use of similar surfaces for their future road maintenance and enhancement projects.

“Crumbed-rubber asphalt has been in extensive use overseas, in climatic conditions similar to Australia, with long term use in California, Arizona and South Africa delivering excellent road performance results and highly desirable sustainability outcomes,” Ms Goodman said.

“The local road trial will be looking at a range of performance factors, such as cracking, rutting, moisture retention and general durability.”

Ms Goodman said all local authorities have the opportunity to use recycled tyre-derived materials in urban infrastructure, through both well-established applications and rapidly emerging new products.

“Existing uses of tyre derived material, for applications such as providing soft fall surfaces on playgrounds, are being added to by innovations such as erosion protection wall systems in waterways, noise barriers along roads and permeable pavements for carparks, footpaths and walking tracks,” Ms Goodman said.

“A major focus for the development of new materials is the continual improvement and tailoring of crumbed-rubber asphalt used in roads.”

Related stories:

Tyre Stewardship invests in crumb rubber concrete

The University of South Australia, with funding from Tyre Stewardship Australia, is working to develop and test reinforced crumbed rubber concrete (CRC), for use in the residential construction industry.

CRC is made by replacing sand with crumb rubber, from end-of-life tyres, in concrete mixes.

Tyre Stewardship CEO Lina Goodman said the University of South Australia testing has assessed both the material itself and its structural properties, with encouraging results.

“Nearly 40 per cent of the annual total of approximately 9.6 million cubic metres of Australian pre-mixed concrete is used for residential construction,” Ms Goodman said.

“That volume presents a significant opportunity to consume very substantial quantities of recycled rubber, and could account for a large proportion of the 56 million end-of-life tyres Australia generates each year.”

According to Ms Goodman, CRC showed no difference in performance when compared with conventional concrete during a full-scale trial of residential slabs.

“There were no issues related to the mixing and delivery of CRC by a commercial ready-mix supplier, and the residential slab contractors working with the new product reported easy application and no difference when finishing the concrete surface,” Ms Goodman said.

“In addition, as with conventional concrete, no visual deterioration was observed on the rubber concrete slab surface after three months. All the initial results indicate that CRC in residential slabs is a promising and potentially viable alternative to conventional concrete.”

Ms Goodman said the commercial potential for CRC is considerable, with positive properties including increased toughness and impact resistance, reduced tendency for cracking and shrinkage and better acoustic and thermal insulation.

“Given the ongoing population growth that is sure to sustain a growing domestic construction industry, the work we are supporting on the development and testing of CRC is one of the most promising areas of market development,” Ms Goodman said.

“Ultimately, the aim is to find valuable uses for tyre-derived material that generate a strong domestic market, create a value for the resource and, in that way, deliver a sustainable circular economy outcome.”

Related stories:

Tyre Stewardship Australia members achieve circular outcomes

Eight members of Tyre Stewardship Australia are taking their role as tyre manufacturers a step further by working towards a circular economy future.

Read moreTyre Stewardship Australia members achieve circular outcomes

Tyre export markets audited

According to Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA), used tyres are being sent overseas with little regard for environmentally sound recycling processes.

TSA Chief Executive Officer Lina Goodman said a recent audit into where some Australian recyclers are sending tyres revealed multiple red flags.

These include selling to businesses with poor health and safety practices, poor storage conditions and companies involved in environmentally harmful burning.

“Whilst it is inevitable that some used tyres will be sold overseas, we want Australian tyre recyclers and collectors to be more vigilant and responsible about where they send their product.

“Although TSA does not have the authority to regulate these markets, we do want to help our participants make informed choices – choices that are safer for the environment and society,” Ms Goodman said.

TSA have engaged multinational assurance company Intertek to assist with the verification of downstream end-of-life tyre processes and review its product stewardship scheme with the aim of greater transparency.

The guiding principal of the product stewardship scheme is that all members must use accredited TSA collectors and recyclers, and if they don’t comply membership can be revoked.

Intertek General Manager Australasia Benjamin Rieck said the company is committed to working with TSA to ensure responsible and environmentally sound outcomes over a range of areas including distribution, environmental, health and safety, modern slavery and broader social responsibility and compliance.

TSA has to date committed $4 million to the development of sustainable end markets for tyre-derived products within Australia.

“We are working hard to support these emerging markets but in the meantime, we need to do more to help our participants find and use reputable overseas recyclers,” Ms Goodman said.

Related Stories: