The increased number of vehicles has led to a tremendous growth in the volume of used tyres. Over a billion tyres reach their end of life in the world each year (cited Brown & Watson, 2002) of which about 200000000 arises in Europe and 290000000 in the United States (cited RMA, 2003). From 1998 to 2008 this is expected to change by 2% every year. Vast quantities of tyre are stocked piled in designated landfills or illegally dumped.
Besides posing pressure on the environment and the existing waste management sector, this erroneous waste flow also create opportunities for new recycling market to evolve. The tyre lifecycle traditionally comprises four main stages. These include production, consumption, collection of used tyres and waste management (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2006: 134). The final stage in the life cycle describes the ultimate destination where used tyres arrive.
The term “used tyre” defines a tyre at the end of its first lifecycle. Two sub-types of used tyres are distinguished. The “part worn tyre” is a used tyre that can either directly be reused or retreaded. The “worn out” or “scrap tyre” is a used tyre that cannot be reused for its original purpose but may have a further use as a material or for energy recovery (Limbachiya & Roberts 2004: 273) The current solution of recycling is commercial development of a new building material made from recycled tires called the ‘Tire Log’.
The Tire Log is a patented innovation made from waste tires with a unique and energy efficient approach to recycling tires. RTP recycling method is based on a simple procedure that helically wraps the steel belted tread of the tire around a core of tire treads to essentially any length or diameter. The net result is a building material that engineers say could revolutionize flood control, earthquake survivability and homeland security (Re-Tread Products, Inc. (RTP), 2008). References Limbachiya, M. C & Roberts, J. J. (2004).
Sustainable waste management and recycling: used/ post-consumer tyres. Tokyo: Thomas Telford. Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. (2006). Improving recycling markets. Paris: OECD Publishing. Re-Tread Products, Inc. (RTP). (2008, Jan 30). New York company announces new solution for recycled tires. Retrieved May 25, 2010, from www. environmental-expert. com: http://www. environmental-expert. com/resulteachpressrelease. aspx? cid=24895&codi=26319