Currently, thousands of tonnes of scrap tyres are illegally dumped every year and not only cost millions of dollars annually but also produce severe health hazards and environmental damage.
Even the smallest number of dumped tyres can create a dangerous breeding ground for mosquitoes that transport disease, such as Dengue Fever and the Ross River Virus.
While controlling Dengue fever is a more complex issue than simply managing our waste tyres, there is little question that Australia’s poor management of waste tyres is a significant contributor. Since 2007 (when Australia started its deadly trade in waste tyres) the incidence of Dengue Fever in Vietnam has skyrocketed from an estimated 68,532 cases to 128,831 in 2010. Similarly in 2007 Dengue Fever was very much a rare disease in Australia, with just 187 cases in 2007; by 2010 the rate of infection has increased to 1,171. Leading Epidemiologists and Doctors are warning of the significant risk of Dengue in Australia.*
The World Health Organisation say that stockpiles of waste tyres sent to countries like Vietnam has caused the spread of Dengue Fever and other mosquito borne diseases.
As a result of these health concerns every European nation, the U.K. Canada, and most of the U.S. banned the export of whole waste tyres in 2007.
* Sourced from www.theskids.org.au
Bill Gates has explored the devastating role that mosquitoes play in carrying and spreading disease. He has featured an infographic on his blog revealing mosquitoes kill more humans than any other animal a year. To learn more read the "The Deadliest Animal in the World" article.
Tyres are combustible. Once ignited, they are difficult to extinguish — producing chemical toxins that affect humans, flora, fauna, waterways and the atmosphere.
Because of their unique shape and components, once lit, a tyre fire is almost impossible to extinguish. Bushfires can ignite tyre piles which are not stored at appropriate facilities, an example of which occurred at Moyston Victoria, in January 2015, where a stockpile of 30,000 tyres where ignited in the bushfire season. A stockpile of 10 million tyres illegally dumped in parkland near Powys in Wales caught fire in 1989. Unable to access the area fire fighters could not extinguish the blaze and it burnt for over 15 years – in fact the fire continues to smoulder today.
The number of tyre fires is rapidly escalating. The NSW Fire and Rescue Service report that since 2008, there have been 321 fires involving tyres in NSW alone.
Whether they are dumped, burnt or landfilled; every tyre that isn’t properly recycled leaches significant toxics and hazardous compounds into our environment. Imagine the impact of 29 million tyres p.a. – that’s an incredible 2,653 tonnes of heavy metals, toxics and poisons introduced into our environment each year! That’s lead, cadmium, dioxins, furans, hydrogen chloride, ben zene, polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), arsenic, mercury, chromium, and vanadium – substances that can cause cancer, mutations, and autism.
The irresponsible management of waste tyres by Australian tyre merchants have placed people’s lives and well being in jeopardy by:
By expanding tyre recycling and the application of tyre products we'll not only reduce the number of tyres sent to landfill but be able to create a cleaner, healthier environment
Recycled rubber granules are mixed with polyurethane and then painted to produce running surfaces. The use of recycled rubber assists with impact absorption, increased performance and injury reduction.
Rubber crumb is used in asbestos-free brake pads, reducing noise and improving wear. The use of heat-resistant rubber instead of asbestos-based materials is a relatively new technology in Australia. As well as lowering noise and improving wear, this product also minimises dust output to enhance vehicle appearance.
Mixed with polyurethane, recycled granulated rubber is rolled into noise-reducing insulation. This rubber matting insulation is especially used in units and apartments, both under flooring and in the walls for reducing and isolating noise. The use of a waterproof flexible binder also provides protection from the elements. Such products are usually also non-toxic and non-allergenic.
Tyres are chipped and used as drainage aggregates in the construction of roads and drains. Chipped tyres are also used in embankments for road construction, reducing the weight and outwards pressure versus other materials, such as rock. This helps to lower overall construction costs.
Recycled rubber benefits several industries in Australia and Asia including:
Tyrecycle, in conjunction with ResourceCo Asia, has established a long-term, sustainable distribution network for all these applications.
A variety of matting products are made from recycled rubber, for internal and external use, and for commercial and domestic use. These include non-slip door mats, and mats for workshops and kitchens. The mats are hard-wearing, don’t rot and can be washed easily.
Recycled rubber granules are added to paint, providing grip in areas the may become slippery, including walkways of boats or strips that are applied to the edges of stairs.
Added to passenger tyres, solid forklift tyres and even into tyres for your wheelie bins, recycled rubber is mixed with uncured rubber prior to baking. As a predictable filling compound, when the rubber is heated, it expands at a more constant rate. This reduces the use of new materials and lowers the cost of manufacture.
Recycled rubber is used in soft-fall surfaces, such as children’s playgrounds, to lower the force of impact and reduce injuries. These durable and low-maintenance surfaces are also porous, allowing them to perform even in harsh weather conditions.
The construction of road surfaces with recycled rubber enhances performance, reduces noise and increases the life of our roads.
Recycled rubber is used under synthetic grass for softness, particularly useful for sporting grounds. The grass is often injected directly into the recycled rubber and a polyurethane binder.
Recycled rubber is used in tile adhesives, allowing the adhesive to obtain the flexible properties of cured rubber. This added flexibility also prevents the tiles from cracking, caused by the movement of buildings over time, and also provides important water-resistant properties.
Tyrecycle offers a variety of partnership packages which will assist retailers with the correct disposal of their unwanted tyres and rubber products.
Recycling is now a common practice in Australia.
‘80% of Australians think tyres and rubber are ‘extremely toxic to the environment.’ *
‘7 out of 10 Australians said they are ‘happy to pay a fee to have their tyres recycled responsibly’. *
One third of Australians would change their purchase decision based on the recycling practices of a retailer.
Tyrecycle is Australia’s only national tyre recycler.
We not only cover metropolitan areas, but also regional and remote areas.
*Independent consumer research undertaken May 2013 (n = 1072)
Tyrecycle continues to work with government and industry to increase awareness of the importance of tyre recycling and the promise of associated product development.