Tyrewise - Recycling for end of life tyres

End-of-Life Tyres

Outcomes for tyres vary considerably around the world and within New Zealand

End of Life Tyres are a valuable source of resources and energy. However, a harmful waste product if not managed correctly.

The risks of environmental harm through pollution from fire (arson) and the leaching of toxic materials into water and soil are significant if waste tyres are not managed effectively.

Whole tyres in landfills can cause stability issues by capturing gas and rising to the surface, while the stockpiling and dumping of tyres can impose costs on ratepayers and land owners as well as being an eyesore and posing a health threat from fires and insects breeding in water trapped in the whole tyres. Under the Resource Management Act they are considered a land contaminant and prosecutions can be bought against land owners who stockpile tyres.

If managed effectively, recycling and reuse of tyres can create opportunities for new business, provide a valuable energy source, and reduce the use of virgin materials.

What are End-of-Life Tyres?

End-of-Life Tyres are simply that – tyres that have reached the end of their useful life.

What is a tyrestockpile?

Unless a “waste tyre” has been put to immediate re-use, a stockpile is defined as tyres that are awaiting further processing for recovery of resources (have an owner) or tyres which have been discarded (no owner, illegally dumped).

End-of-Life Tyre Storage

The following documents have been released to help manage the end-of-life tyres:

What is Product Stewardship?

Product stewardship is when responsibility for the environmental effects that products can cause in their life cycle is shared among all sectors involved with the product. Product stewardship scheme participants can include producers, brand owners, importers, retailers, and consumers.

Product stewardship usually includes shifting some of the physical and financial responsibility for end-of-life product impacts from ratepayers and taxpayers to those involved in the production and supply of the product. (Source: MfE – Priority Waste Streams Discussion document)

Product Stewardship programmes are a common means of managing end-of-life tyres.

For more information about Product Stewardship visit www.3r.co.nz

End-of-Life Tyre Solutions:

Or Markets, Markets, Markets!

It is estimated that every year a total of 1 billion ELTs are generated across the globe. A number of countries and regions have launched initiatives to support better management of end-of-life tyres and use funds collected to support the development of infrastructure and creation of new markets for rubber products.

In June 2017, the then National Government announced funding for end-of-life tyre collection and recycling from the Waste Minimisation Fund. This focussed on the use of tyres to manufacture cement and the setup of a nationwide tyre collection network and shredding facilities. While this does not solve the problem in New Zealand, it does go some way to help provide the necessary infrastructure and end use markets.

Find out more about international efforts for the management of end-of-life tyres.