The future of tyre recycling in the UK

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Tyre recycling remains a huge environmental topic, and recent changes in legislation regarding portside storage is a step in the right direction.

The UK’s Environment Agency announced that it has approved a new time-limited statement (RPS 238) which will allow enhanced material storage at dockside.

Widely welcomed by TRA (tyre Recovery Association) members the news will “…permit up to 5000t of PAS107-processed and compliant material to be stored portside in secure conditions prior to bulk loading and shipment, primarily for use as tyre-derived fuel overseas…” according to the article in Tyre and Rubber Recycling.

Whilst such changes in legislation set to benefit the industry as a whole, the article also makes reference to the anticipated ban on exporting UK waste tyres to India.

Generally accepted that this will occur, and that an alternative must be sought, surely now is the time for tyre recyclers, indeed anyone connected with the tyre industry in the UK, to explore the possibilities of sustainably disposing of waste tyres in a responsible manner.

Our continuous pyrolysis technology, the only one of its kind in the UK, offers another outlet for end of life tyres. One that is sustainable, circular and generates by-products that are essential, either in manufacturing processes or as alternative energy generation.

Operating at low temperatures the plant allows the processing of end of life tyres with ease – our plant at Worksop is capable of processing one tonne of ELTs each hour. Putting that into perspective – with 50m waste tyres generated in the UK each year equating to 480,000 tonnes – the UK would need around 55 pyrolysis plants the same as ours to effectively remove all waste tyres in the UK. When you put it like that, it doesn’t seem such a big ask does it?

Clearly, we’re huge advocates of pyrolysis and the effect it can have on hard to recycle waste including, but not exclusively, waste tyres.

For us, it’s about finding new ways of dealing with our waste in the UK that cannot be recycled and ensuring it is used to generate energy, thereby reducing our demand on non-renewable fossil fuels even further.

Perhaps, an even more important message though is the fact that our approach to hard to recycle waste has to be holistic. Fixing the tyre problem as a stand-alone issue is not as good as it could be if we also find ways of eliminating other hard to recycle materials from landfill.

And that is why we’re committed to sharing our knowledge of pyrolysis and the positive impact that it can have on the tyre industry. The future of tyre recycling has to be about dealing with our waste responsibly.