Tyres become sports surfaces*

Article image - Tyres become sports surfaces*

Given that Australia generates the equivalent of 51 million used passenger car tyres every year one would think that the challenge of sustainably dealing with waste of this magnitude would be front-of-mind for consumers and industry alike.

However, the sheer size of Australia has been a factor in allowing the issue to be, in effect, hidden from public view.

Now the tyre industry has come together to create Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA), a Federal and State Government supported, Australian Competition and Consumer Commission approved, cooperative program to track end-of-life tyres, educate industry and consumers and to invest in research and development (R&D) of new uses for recovered tyre-derived products.

It is in that R&D function that TSA is working to promote and further develop some surprising uses for crumbed rubber sourced from locally recycled tyres.

Some synthetic tennis courts, hockey or soccer pitches,  may also reveal a sophisticated use of recycled tyre rubber granules, providing a stable, shock absorbing and durable base layer.

The use of rubber granules, mixed with coarse river sand, also provides stability, grip and shock absorption for equestrian dressage arenas; with the added benefit of better performance and less wash-off in heavy rains.

Added to the sporting applications is the use of recycled rubber products in children’s play areas increasing safety and improving the quality and presentation of such facilities.

Rubber granules are also used as a supporting infill with natural turf and synthetic surfaces. Applications of this type are increasingly found on the surrounding edges of natural turf competition fields.

TSA continues to work with tyre recyclers, sporting surface providers and local government agencies to increase the specification of recycled rubber-based materials in modern, high performance, safety oriented sporting surfaces.

*Copy supplied by Tyre Stewardship Australia