Upgraded cement plant crucial to solving NZ’s waste tyre problem

Upgraded cement plant crucial to solving NZ’s waste tyre problem

Adele Rose, Chief Executive of 3R Group, the project managers for Tyrewise.

MEDIA RELEASE: The newly upgraded Golden Bay Cement plant in Whangarei is a major step towards ending tyre waste in New Zealand.

This according to the industry-led Tyrewise project, which has created the groundwork for the country’s first all-encompassing, nationwide regulated product stewardship scheme for end-of-life tyres (ELTs).

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Tyrewise Project Manager Adele Rose says the upgraded plant, which will use up to three million end-of-life tyres (ELTs) as fuel, is a critical piece of infrastructure needed for the overall success of the stewardship scheme.

The scheme would ensure all ELTs are collected and recycled, with one of the current uses being tyre-derived fuel.

“ELTs are a valuable resource which are largely going to waste in New Zealand, creating a serious hazard for human health and the environment – as seen with recent tyre fires. Using ELTs as fuel not only utilises high volumes of the resource but also helps keep them from being stockpiled or illegally dumped,” Adele says.

Onshore processing, such as the Golden Bay Cement plant, is essential for creating a circular economy solution for ELTs in New Zealand, she says.

“It’s great to see large scale solutions for ELTs emerging as we begin the process of how to implement the scheme. We look forward to seeing more innovation in the near future.”

Fletcher Building today (30 March) announced it had completed upgrading New Zealand’s only end-to-end cement plant in Portland, Whangarei, which would be officially opened by the Environment Minister David Parker.

The plant uses ELTs as fuel, reportedly reducing coal use by 15%, and overall carbon emissions by 13,000 tonnes a year. According to Fletcher Building the tyres are burned at 1,400°C with the rubber, metal and any ash being combined into the cement.

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