Old tyres become new opportunities*
Old tyres could find a second life in your road surfaces, pavements, as sound barriers and even as fuel.
Creating that circular economy is an objective of Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA), an industry cooperative body with State and Federal Government support.
Local government authorities are probably aware of the issue of unsustainable tyre disposal. However, the scale of the national end-of-life tyre challenge may still surprise. Australia produces the equivalent of 56 million1 used tyres each year.
TSA is working on the commercial viability of technologies that can turn old tyres into valuable products, including rubber-crumb asphalt, road spray-seal, permeable paving, sound barriers and even oil that could be further refined into diesel.
Rubberised road and pavement products are already in widespread use in Australia and TSA is working with state roads bodies on increasing that use.
A new high-performance wall system, using baled tyres contained within highly stable concrete skins, offers many applications including retaining walls and sound barriers.
Extracting oil is more complex and requires further study. The process, know as pyrolysis, breaks down old tyres to component elements, including a low-grade oil.
Local government authorities (LGAs) can do their bit by gaining TSA accreditation. There is no cost, only the commitment to source from, and dispose of tyres with, accredited operators.
LGAs can also play a significant role by looking at opportunities to specify tyre-derived products.
To apply for TSA accreditation contact info[@]tyrestewardship.org.au or apply on the TSA website (tyrestewardship.org.au).
Local government can help TSA achieve its objective of turning an environmental challenge into new products and new jobs.
1Source: Volume based on Equivalent Units (EPUs). An EPU is standard passenger car tyre. Full EPU Ratio Tables available at tyrestewardship.org.au
*Copy supplied by Tyre Stewardship Australia