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What to do with Growing Piles of End-of-Life Tires?

Hello, we would like to avoid the illegal burning of end-of-life tires and are wondering what we do best with our growing piles of end-of-life tires. As we try to focus more on becoming a circular economy while maintaining profitability we would really appreciate your opinion.

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  1. According to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development’s (WBCSD) Tyre Industry Project (TIP), the world is projected to generate approximately one billion end-of-life tires (ELT) each year.
    This development demands an increased focus on how to include ELTs in the circular economy to avoid illegal burning and filling up landfills all over the world. Danish manufacturer of tire recycling equipment, ELDAN Recycling, has in 2020 experienced a continued interest in their solutions from customers all over the world despite the COVID-19 situation. Mr. Bjørn Laursen, Product Manager for tires at ELDAN, suspects this development is the result of a combination of regulatory changes around the world and an increased focus on circular economy and recycling as a profitable business.

    Tires are a good example of how one type of waste can be recycled in many ways. “Products from ELTs have many uses depending on the level of processing involved,” Mr. Laursen explains. “The traditional approach is downsizing and burning them for energy – known as Tyre-Derived Fuel (TDF)”. Most research suggests that emissions are lower for both CO2 and NOx when burning TDF in facilities with proper air pollution controls when compared to traditional fossil fuels. As such, this is a relatively environmentally friendly and cheap alternative energy source in e.g. the cement and paper industries. Mr. Laursen continues: “If processed further and cleaned to industry standards, steel and textile free rubber chips, granules, and powder have a wide variety of usages and sell for more than TDF”. Tire chips can be used e.g. in landscaping and as infill for horse tracks, and granules and powder are used for e.g. athletics tracks, playground mats, and even shoe soles.

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