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August 19, 2014Treadfirst’s approach on tyre recycling

According to the Environment Agency, the UK produces around 55 million waste tyres a year, which are disposed of in the UK. If not properly reused, recycled or disposed of, waste tyres can:

  • Impact on the environment
  • Affect local communities

To learn how we at Treadfirst recycle our tyres continue reading to discover what happens with your tyres when you get them replaced!

Fuel consumption & Tyres

The greatest environmental impact from tyres during their life cycle is related to the fuel consumption of the vehicle. Tyre developers devote time and huge budgets to investigate ways to decrease the rolling resistance of tyres, and in so doing, the related fuel consumption of vehicles. One of the aims of continued product development is to ensure excellent grip, extend tyre life expectancy and reduce environmental damage and increase environment friendliness!

Harmful Raw Materials in Tyres is Now Banned

Other environmental effects of tyres depend on the raw materials it is made up of. The EU prohibited the use of harmful raw materials and chemicals a number of years ago, and this has seen companies like Nokian Tyres invest a lot more in environmentally friendly elements. The use of harmful oils is now completely prohibited.

The Noise levels of Tyres

A significant environmental nuisance related to tyres is noise from roads, present everywhere – in both rural and urban areas. Tyre developers aim to minimise the noise generated by motor vehicles. Alongside rolling resistance and grip on wet surfaces, the EU now requires all tyre manufacturers to provide the rating of the tyre on the EU’s tyre label.

This has been compulsory since autumn 2012. Tyre manufacturers continue to work to develop less noisy tyres.

Consumer Knowledge

Consumers can also control the impact on the environment by choosing the most appropriate tyre for their vehicle and for their driving needs. By choosing tyres with a low rolling resistance – without compromising on safety – you can reduce your vehicle’s fuel consumption significantly. Tyre life can be prolonged too through economical driving and effective tyre rotation.

Tyre Recovery in the UK

The world’s leading tyre developers are located in Europe. The EU has been a pioneer in things such as emission restrictions and the target values have become more demanding in recent years. The EU’s regulations have also led tyre developers in a more environmentally friendly direction.

In 2010, just over 30 percent of waste tyres were turned into crumb, 18 percent were used in energy recovery, nearly 20 percent were re-used (in the UK or abroad), 16 percent were specifically used in landfill engineering and 11 percent were re-treaded.

What Happens to Waste Tyres?

Waste tyres can be used in various ways. They can provide fuel for cement kilns or be turned into products such as flooring, road surfaces, furniture and shoes. Bales of tyres can be used in the construction of modern engineered landfill sites and flood defences. If waste tyres are in good condition, they can be re-moulded and put back on the road as ‘re-treads’.
Some decades ago, used tyres were still piling up at landfill sites. Britain’s tyre recovery business is being compromised by criminals. It costs in the region of £1.00 to dispose of a tyre legally in the UK. If it cost less, it doesn’t necessarily mean the tyres will be disposed of illegally, as profit can be made elsewhere in the chain, such as at the point of export. It is important to check with your tyre dealer about how they dispose of your waste tyres.

Ask if they are a member of the Tyre Industry Federation’s Responsible Recycler Scheme.

Waste Tyre Dumping is Crime – You Can Help to Stop It!

If you are concerned about illegal tyre disposal you can call the Environment Agency on 08708 506 506 for more information about a supplier or to report a problem.

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