The Feedstock

Worldwide about one billion tires are manufactured each year. Nearly an equal number of tires are removed from vehicles each year as waste (about 17 million tons). In the EU alone around 3,4 million tons of tires become waste each year, mostly incinerated and in many parts of the world tires are still being dumped or landfilled. More than 10 billion tires are lying in garbage dumps all over the globe.

All managers involved are concerned that the current recycling of this waste does not meet the European legislation REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals). In the coming future their waste cannot be recycled in the same way as it is now and the do not know what to do with them.

The global implications of reducing waste tires are many:  improved socio-economic justice, reducing landfill, reducing carbon footprint and creating a safer society.

  • Tires are a breeding ground for mosquitoes – an ever alarming issue with the rise of the West Nile Virus.
  • Tires have potential for tire fires which produce acid smoke harmful to humans and the environment as well as leaves behind a oily residue. Tire fires are not extinguishable and in some instances burn for several weeks.
  • Tires take up landfill space and as land is becoming more and more scarce, it will lead towards illegal dumping. This drives down home values and causes socio-economic segregation as tires typically are dumped in low income areas.
  • Tires in landfills have led to worker injury and death. With the amount of negative space in tires, as they are compressed with more waste, they have a tendency to rebound to the surface, leading to tires rolling for falling onto workers.

Expectations are that prices will go down as there will be more and more waste, which, due to the European legislation cannot be recycled in the current way.

Therefore there will be an abundant and sustainable supply of rubber feedstock possible.

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