Tyre recycling on a growth trajectory

Image 3

Australia’s largest and oldest recycler of tyres continues to expand its operations across Australia off the back of strong support from retailers, Tyrecycle says.

The company, which began in 1992, has doubled its recycling operation since partnering with Tasmanian horticulture firm Barwicks seven months ago.

Jim Fairweather, Tyrecycle CEO, says since the partnership launched last year, the percentage of tyres being recycled has grown from 30 per cent to 60 per cent.

“This equates to around 24,000 tyres per month or around 288,000 per year,” Jim says.

“In the last few months we’ve had another nine retailers come on board, taking our total in Tasmania to 25, which represents a significant win for the environment.”

Tyres previously going to landfill or stockpiled are now being processed through a purpose-built plant near Hobart.

From there, the tyres are transported to Tyrecycle’s state-of-the art recycling plant in Melbourne, where they are re-purposed for such uses as replacing fossil fuels as an alternate source of energy.

“The majority of used passenger and truck tyres are converted into tyre-derived fuel (TDF), with around 145,000 tonnes exported out of Australia every year.

“The extremely high calorific value of TDF makes it an attractive alternative fuel on an international scale.”

A recent report by the Australian Tyre Recyclers Association (ATRA) identified that end-of-life tyre by-product produces significantly lower volumes of carbon dioxide (CO2) than coal. The report stated that replacing one tonne of black coal with one tonne of TDF can save emissions of up to 1.05 tonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere.

To read more, see page 42 of Issue 12.

Solution to Tasmania’s tyre problem nears

A stockpile of scrap tyres
The approval of a tyre shredding facility will see the removal of northern Tasmania’s massive stockpile of end-of-life tyres (ELTs).

Northern Midlands Council on Tuesday approved the facility on Tuesday, which plans to shred approximately 1 million tyres.

The Northern Midlands Mayor David Downie told ABC News the approval was a significant step.

“It has been a great concern, we’ve had two fires in our municipality over the years,” he said.

“Those fires were of stockpiles a lot smaller number than the tyres we have at the moment.

“The major concern is if they did catch on fire that it would have an effect on the outlying areas.”

The shredder, which is expected to be in operation later this year, will only progress once a processing facility is approved.

Conditions of the council’s approval include removing the stockpile by 2020.

TyreRecycle Tasmania operator Tim Chugg is working on getting the processing facility approved, in order to recycle the shredded waste into a sellable product.

This includes grinding the shredded tyres into a powder used in resurfacing roads and playground.

He told ABC News the concept was used extensively on the mainland.

“One has to go with the other,” Mr Chugg said.

“We’re extremely confident that now we’ve got one we can establish the other as well.”

UPDATE: An earlier version of this story incorrectly referred to TyreRecycle Tasmania operator Tim Chugg as Tyrecycle Tasmania operator – there are no affiliations between the two companies.