Key Issues

The disposal of used tyres in the UK is a significant issue that could literally be costing us the Earth. Every day in Britain over 100,000 worn tyres are taken off cars, vans and trucks accounting for a total of around 40 million tyres (440,000 tonnes) per year. Presently the UK recovers value from around 70% of these tyres with the balance largely disposed of to landfill, but will need to recover 100% by mid-2006 when the landfill ban takes full effect.

Key Issues

The forthcoming tyre landfill ban raises a number of key issues.

Central is the need for the development of a robust recovery infrastructure capable of handling all those tyres that would previously have been disposed of in landfill. This includes the development of the logistics support to enable tyres to be efficiently delivered into the recovery infrastructure.

A further, related, issue is the need for that recovery infrastructure to actually receive the tyres it needs to operate effectively. That requires businesses receiving used tyres to sensibly, and progressively manage the transition away from landfill, ultimately championing the longer-term view as opposed to the immediate, short-term focus that has historically dominated. It is impractical to assume that tyres can move en masse from disposal at landfill to recovery overnight.

And, of course, used tyres should only be delivered into suitable, and appropriately authorised facilities, to minimise the risks of tyre fly-tipping.

At its heart, the cost of recovery is the prime factor and on which both the development of adequate recovery facilities, and delivery of tyres into those facilities hinges. Businesses will inevitably take their own view as to the immediate costs of supporting recovery now compared to the relative cost of disposal to landfill presently available. The UTWG would urge businesses to carefully weigh the perceived attractiveness of lower cost landfill disposal against the need for a managed transition away from landfill. If it appears this balance is not right, there is a real danger that Government may intervene with an imposed solution, with the loss of flexibility and increased costs this would be likely to bring.

Understanding, where research suggests awareness is exceedingly patchy, is also a key issue and takes a number of forms. These include:

  • the landfill ban and its implications;
  • the legal responsibilities of those handling used tyres under “The Duty of Care”;
  • the scale of the issue; and
  • the details of those able to treat used tyres and those authorised to transport tyres to such facilities.

The links above will guide you to further information on these issues.

We are in the process of setting up a used tyre recycling plant in South Wales, UK. We plan to collect used car tyres and then to shred them into crumbs and granulate for recycling. If anyone is interested in either having their tyres taken away or in buying rubber crumb or rubber granulate please contact me.

I am inviting comments from people in waste management about the current state of UK legislation regarding the reuse of waste tyres for other purposes.
From: Jonathan Priddey Reply

Will the landfilling of catapillar tracks for site machinery be subject to the same resrictions as regular tyre? If yes, is there a company who is able to recycle them?
From: John Matthews Reply

I am looking for a scottish company (if possible) to supply up to 70 tonnes of rubber chippings for an outdoor exercise arena for my horses. Chippings need to be betwen 10 – 25 mm. Can anyone help provide a name and address?
From: Lyn Lewis Reply

Is there a company out there who have a waste tyre collection in Cornwall
From: Sarah Reply

Can anybody tell me where I can find information on what is classed as a ‘Shredded Tyre’? And any ne EU laws coming into place.
From: Adam Reply

How does an Education and Training establishment dispose of their tyres legally, whilst conforming to BS 14001.
From: Alex McGowan Reply

I am looking for a company that makes walls out of old tyres by wiring them together. Making wall sections suitable to make a sugar beet clamp on a farm.
From: Ian Johnson Reply

What is the commercially viable specification of carbon black and tire pyrolysis oil?
From: Chandra Mohan Reply

I am about to start up a go-karting business in scotland, can i use old tyres on my circuit and do i have to pay for them if they going to be recycled anyway?
From: Brian Wilson Reply

I have found a way to make a usefull product out of used tyres . Why no one has done this before has suprissed me. Has the potential to get rid of all tyres.I have submitted a provisional patent in Australia to cover this Idea. Looking for Seed Capital.
From: Steve Rathbone Reply

I live in the Stockport area near to a franchised garage which regularly store used tyres about 20,at the rear of their premises which is the road on which I live. The tyres are in the open insecured a few feet from the pavement.It has become the custom of local youths at weekend to re distribute them around the street.Are the garage in breach of these regulations
From: Ian Hinsley Reply

We have around 1500 tyres to dispose of in the Shrewsbury area. We would like to do it responsibly but are a non-profit making club. Can anyone advise the sort of costs that would be involved.
From: Carla Stubbings Reply

After recently closing a quad bike track I have several hundred tyres to dispose of. I’m looking for advice on what is the best way to do this and the cheapest,or companies that wiil come and collect them free of charge for recycling

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