Enforced tyre recycling is expected to reduce tyre manufacturing costs, raise tyre turnover, contribute to road safety by way of improved roadworthiness, and lighten a range of environmental impacts.
The Waste Tyre Regulation (WTR) Act that would enforce tyre recycling, was delayed by competition issues, since the legislation would create a new industry, with huge incomes protected by law. Government aims to ensure that tyre recycling is not monopolised by some of the big players, reports Transportandmobililty.co.za
Transport operators who return used tyres to dealers, would reclaim their levies from the SA Tyre Recycling Process Company (SATRPC), a body created in terms of the Act.
Road transporters oppose the draft, since they would pay tyre levies, while tyre dealers would merely have to include a ‘green’ levy in tyre sale prices, then classify used tyres returned to them for either retreading or scrapping, and return scrap tyres for free.
Private users would pay for takeback services by way of a levy included by retailers in the tyre price.
Tyre retreading saves 75% resources
Southern African retreader Bandag said its retreading method requires on average 75 litres less of petrochemicals materials, than manufacture a new tyre, with similar savings in energy costs.
Retreading of a million used tyre carcasses per year could save 80 000 tons oil equivalent (TOE) by the Bandag retreading process.
Worn tyres weigh 50kg each on average, and retreading therefore could reduce the waste disposal burden by 50 000 tons per year.
Competitions Commission tyre snag
The SA Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC) said promulgation of the Waste Tyre Regulation Act has been delayed by the Competitions Commission invoking a Competitions Act prohibition on companies discussing matters that may lead to pricing cartels.
Complaints were made in 2008 against SATMC and some of its tyre manufacturing members about ‘collusive tendering and price fixing’. Bridgestone applied for and was granted conditional immunity from prosecution in terms of the Commission’s Corporate Leniency Policy (CLP). The complaint was upheld by the tribunal in early 2011, reports Focusontransport.com and Transportandmobility.co.za.
Waste tyre uses
Waste recycled tyres can be reused in construction, highways or sports fields, although these uses are not common in Africa, where tyre separation, collection, recycling and re-use facilities are in short supply.
Power stations, cement kilns and paper factories could safely burn waste tyres instead of coal, since dioxins and furans are destroyed at the high temperatures in kilns, said Afrisam. Cement kilns, however, have not started using waste tyres on a large scale, and have not committed to paying for used tyres.
SATRPC may even have to pay kilns to accept waste tyres as fuel. Carbon residue is converted into a cement component in a Portland cement process. Waste tyre uses include;
• Tyre retreading
• Road surface of hot melt asphalt, ‘crumb rubber modifier recycled asphalt pavement” (CRM – RAP)
• Kiln fuel and Portland cement
• Gas venting backfill
• Landfill liners, leachate collection systems, gas caps or final caps
• Material compound export
Retreaders blend waste tyre process compounds with virgin rubber compounds, maintaining performance while reducing the raw material cost.
Tyre sheq problems
South Africa produces about a million tyres per year, and disposes of about the same number of scrap tyres per year. Current waste tyre sheq problems include;
• Lack of tyre or rubber recycling facilities in Africa
• Illegal tyre dumping
• Illegal tyre burning
• Illegal stockpiling and vending of waste tyres
• Fire and environmental risk of stockpiling
Australian rubber recycling plant for Mpumalanga
South African company Hamba Kanqane has partnered with Australian rubber producer Rubber Solutions, planning to build a 4-ton per your tyre recycling plant in Mpumalanga, and producing 20 000 tons of tyre waste per year for Australian users, with the SA company committed to buy the plant after five years.