Monday, 27 May 2013

# 66 (2013) Spare Tyres

Last month I did a LOT of recycling. It included 8 car tyres which I very nearly couldn't get rid of at all thanks to new directives from the Environment Agency. Way to go guys!

Household waste recycling centres don't take tyres anymore. There is currently one in the whole of Lincolnshire at Louth but you can kiss goodbye to that soon.

Did you know that in 2011 there were something like 40,000,000 cars on the road in the UK alone and we are second only to Germany in Europe for new registrations? Even if only half those cars have their tyres changed each year, that's a lot of tyres. So where do they all go?

A few are used by outdoor activity centres, play parks and the like. They'll stay as tyres and get turned into swings and climbing equipment for activity days. That's a tiny drop into a rubbery ocean though.

In 2001 alone the Environment Agency revealed that '.....the UK scrapped 50 million tyres. According to the Used Tyre Working Group's 2001 survey, 22% were recycled, 8.3% went to energy recovery, 9.9% were retreaded, 16% were reused and 3.3% were used in landfill engineering. The remainder (approximately 40%) were landfilled, stockpiled or disposed of illegally.'

What to do with all the tyres.... (source)
The thing is this number has gone up but disposal has become harder, meaning more and more tyres are going to be dumped illegally. And then someone still has to pick them up and do something else with them. If I hadn't been able to recycle my 8 car tyres, what was I supposed to do with them?

Take a look at this video which shows some of the ways that tyres can be recycled. But is there an endless demand and with the number of waste tyres rising - something like 55 million now - how are we going to deal with them? We are now banned from putting them into landfill which means they either get stored or have to be recycled. Wastebook will tell you all about this.

Although the options might be simple - why not recycle them into new tyres - the costs of recycling are sometimes more than making new products. Whilst I was at the recyclling plant they told me that it costs more to recycle an old glass bottle than it does to make a new one. So where's the sense in companies recycling if it's not cost effective?

Everyone needs to profit. Money makes the world go round and if recycling was more profitable, everyone would be doing it. Now there's a problem worth solving.

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