Tyre firms lead re­cy­cling boost

NT News - Motoring - - CARS GUIDE -

THE AUS­TRALIAN tyre in­dus­try is to take on a lead­er­ship role to de­velop new in­dus­tries from the 48 mil­lion used tyres be­ing dis­posed of each year. Only 16 per cent are re­cy­cled.

The En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter Greg Hunt this week joined tyre in­dus­try lead­ers to an­nounce a new ini­tia­tive to en­cour­age sus­tain­able use of Aus­tralia’s end-of-life tyres.

Mr Hunt an­nounced the for­ma­tion of Tyre Stew­ard­ship Aus­tralia and the na­tional Tyre Prod­uct Stew­ard­ship Scheme to ex­plore the po­ten­tial for new in­dus­tries and prod­ucts from end-of-use tyres, im­prove­ment of col­lec­tion and re­cy­cling pro­cesses and the re­duc­tion of un­sus­tain­able dis­posal prac­tices.

Only 16 per cent of the al­most 50 mil­lion tyres dis­carded an­nu­ally in Aus­tralia are presently re­cy­cled.

The rest are dis­posed to land­fill, stock­piled, il­le­gally dumped or ex­ported. Dump­ing and stock­pil­ing can cre­ate se­ri­ous health and en­vi­ron­men­tal hazards.

The Chair­man of Tyre Stew­ard­ship Aus­tralia Gerry Morvell said present prac­tices for dis­pos­ing of end-of-life tyres were dam­ag­ing the en­vi­ron­ment and cre­at­ing health and fire hazards.

‘‘Aus­tralia only re­cy­cles around 16 per cent of its end-of-life tyres com­pared with 43 per cent in Europe and 32 per cent in the US,’’ he said.

‘‘This scheme will pro­vide a frame­work to ef­fec­tively re­duce the en­vi­ron­men­tal, health and safety im­pacts of the 48 mil­lion tyres which reach the end of their life in Aus­tralia each year.’’

He said the scheme would have the mul­ti­ple ben­e­fits of trans­form­ing a waste prod­uct into use­ful prod­ucts, cre­at­ing new in­dus­tries and em­ploy­ment op­por­tu­ni­ties while also re­duc­ing the en­vi­ron­men­tal harm caused by il­le­gal dump­ing.

The scheme would fo­cus on pro­mot­ing in­no­va­tive use of tyre-de­rived prod­ucts and de­vel­op­ment of new mar­kets, as well as ed­u­cat­ing in­dus­try and the pub­lic about the ben­e­fits of sus­tain­able re­cy­cling.

There is a wide range of uses for end-of-life tyres and tyre-de­rived prod­ucts, such as for road sur­fac­ing, soft fall play­ground sur­fac­ing, brake pads, in­dus­trial and com­mer­cial floor­ing, ex­plo­sives, or in civil engineering and for fu­els for en­ergy re­cov­ery.

Lead­ing tyre man­u­fac­tur­ers Miche­lin, Yoko­hama, Con­ti­nen­tal, Goodyear-Dunlop, Toyo and Pirelli have fi­nan­cially backed the pro­gram.

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