Concrete plans for tired tyre mountains
New Zealand’s mountains of used tyres look set for a second lease of life - as cement, rubber underlay and sound proofing.
Environment Minister Nick Smith has announced a plan that will see old tyres shredded, then turned into other uses, while limiting the amount of stockpiled tyres.
‘‘New Zealand has a longstanding problem, with five million waste tyres generated each year,’’ Smith said.
‘‘We have dozens of tyre stockpiles around the country posing a fire risk, leaching contaminants, providing a breeding ground for rodents and insects, and blotting the landscape.’’
Under new proposed environmental standards, tyre stockpiles of more than 200 cubic metres - about 2500 tyres - would be banned if they did not have council consent.
The government would pay Waste Management New Zealand $3.8 million to set up a nationwide tyre collection network, as well as tyre shredding facilities in Auckland by the end of 2017.
Shredding tyres would make transporting them more economical, Smith said.
Meanwhile, Golden Bay Cement had been granted $13.6m towards technology to use old tyres in the manufacture of cement, by using the rubber to fuel kilns and the steel in tyres inside the cement.
‘‘The major environmental gain from this initiative is a sol- ution for millions of waste tyres, but there is also a benefit in reduced greenhouse gas emissions,’’ Smith said.
A further $1.2m in grants was being given out for projects including creating rubber granules for rubber underlay.
New regulations will mean tyre stockpiles of about 2500 tyres will be banned if they do not have council consent.