Northern Grampians Shire Council is prioritising planning permission for a tyre recycling business that will tackle a nine-million tyre stockpile in north-west Victoria.
Used Tyre Recycling Corporation (UTRC) has taken ownership of the stockpile in Stawell and is keen to start processing, having just purchased a $250,000 Dura-Shred tyre shredder.
In a media statement, UTRC said it is investing $10 million over the next 12 months in a recycling plant that will use patented technology based around pyrolysis.
Dr Matthew Starr, CEO of UTRC, said the company is working with authorities, such as the EPA, CFA, and Powercor, to get the site operational and has invested considerable resources to help make the site more secure and reduce its fire risk.
“Our first step is to get the shredder installed and three phase power connected to the site. We are pleased that the Northern Grampians Shire Council is supporting us to facilitate the permits needed for this to happen,” Dr Starr said.
The company hopes the shredder will be operational by the end of the year. Then its first objective will be to reduce the nine million tyres that have been at the Stawell site since 2008.
“We are very serious about reducing the stockpile, and as soon as our processing plant is operational, we will be working 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to do just this,” added Dr Starr.
The CEO added that basing the plant in Stawell will have “enormous” benefits for the local community. Once the shredding plant is commissioned, it will employ eight full-time workers, increasing up to 50 full time employees when the complete processing plant is operational.
Working with local government and local education facilities, it is exploring the opportunity of employing older people and helping the long-term unemployed back into the workforce, as well providing apprenticeships.
Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) said that UTRC is not currently a TSA accredited member, but that it welcomes genuine, responsible players into the tyre recycling space.
Commenting on the development, TSA CEO Matt Genever said: “We’re very keen to see legitimate enterprises look for commercially-viable and environmentally-responsible ways to process end-of-life tyres.
“There’s no doubt that old tyres present a liability and an opportunity. We at TSA are ever hopeful that commercial solutions can be found to tackle other stockpiles of end-of-life tyres around Australia.”