Used vehicle tyres – Where do we go from here?

tyre for recycling

Used vehicle tyres – Where do we go from here?

Image of recycled rubber chippings

Over 100,000 used vehicle tyres come to the end of their working life every day in the UK!

Let’s start with some general statistics:

  • An average car tyre weighs around 8kg
  • A tyre will have a lifespan of around 20,000 miles (depending on driver and conditions)
  • Tyres cannot go to landfill in the UK (they are classified as a hazardous material)
  • Local councils may take them, but will charge a ‘duty of care disposal fee’
  • Your local garage will charge you a tyre disposal fee.

Your standard car tyre consists of the following materials (in percentage)

  • Natural rubber (14%)
  • Synthetic rubber (27%)
  • Fillers (carbon black & silica) (26%)
  • Plasticisers (oil and resin) (5%)
  • Chemical additives (sulphur) (6%)
  • Metal for reinforcement (16.5%)
  • Textile for reinforcement (5.5%)

So why do I get charged?

Because tyres cannot go to landfill and your local council recycling centre may not accept them, the responsibility for disposal rests with garages, dealerships, MOT centres etc. These businesses have a duty of care to dispose of the tyres legally. This may involve having to store the scrap tyres and negotiating with a disposal company to collect and remove the unwanted tyres.

This all costs money –¬† for space, handling and administration, and also they will have to pay a disposal fee to the disposal collection company.

So what actually happens to the used vehicle tyres? What are the options available?

There are a number of ways a tyre can be disposed of…

  • Incineration – a tyre has high calorific value and has been used to replace coal in power stations and cement furnaces
  • Pyrolysis – a way of creating refuse derived fuel. It involves heating the the tyres in the absence of oxygen to extract synthetic gas and other elements
  • Bailing¬† and shipping – this method often results in the waste tyres going to landfill in developing countries.

The 300 Recycling way!

As an alternative to the above methods, 300 Recycling, along with our sister company – Safer Surfacing Ltd, have developed an innovative reuse for waste tyres. After significant investment and development we have produced a range of rubber chippings.

The rubber chippings have a range of uses;

  • Landscaping as a decorative border mulch
  • Making play safe in playgrounds, schools, nurseries and gardens
  • Creating safe riding surfaces for equestrian arenas
  • As a ditch fill for bowling greens
  • Keeping chickens warm and clean in their pens and runs
  • And many more!

You can see the Safer Surfacing range of products here!

Our aim continues to be to move recycling forward. We will continue to achieve this by innovating new ways to recycle hard to dispose of waste.