End-of-life tyres can cause environmental and health risks. Each year, approximately 50 million vehicle tyres reach end-of-life across Australia. Sadly, only 16% of these are currently being recycled locally, yet each passenger car tyre contains approximately 1.5kg of steel, 0.5kg of textiles and 7kg of rubber. A large proportion of the total number of end-of-life tyres are shipped overseas while the remainder are either sent to landfill, stockpiled or illegally dumped.
Recycle your tyres to:
Reduce, reuse, recycle. Certain tyres can be re-treaded or repaired to extend their useful life. Re-treading tyres returns them to a safe and usable quality by removing the residual tread and adhering new tread to the old tyre casing. Talk to your tyre supplier about purchasing re-treadable tyres, and whether or not your current tyres can be re-treaded.
Make sure the mechanic or garage you use recycles your tyres. Some tyre service centres will recycle your tyres for free when you buy new ones. Look for the Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) logo and choose those services over others without accreditation.
Visit the Tyre Stewardship Australia website to find a participating retailer.
Alternatively, contact your local council or transfer station to find out whether tyres are accepted.
Businesses should visit Planet Ark’s BusinessRecycling.com.au and search for passenger tyres or for truck tyres.
Through Sustainability Victoria, the Victorian Government is supporting the National Tyre Product Stewardship Scheme. This scheme aims to increase both the number of tyres recycled in Australia and the use of products made with recycled material. Tyre industry participants who apply for, and gain Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) accreditation, must commit to playing their part in ensuring sustainable end-of-life use for tyres. The majority of car tyres are disposed of through a business, shop or central point other than a waste transfer station.
Initially, recycled tyres are cut into smaller pieces to make transport and handling safer and easier. Further processing is used to separate the rubber, textile and steel, and the remaining rubber is crumbed (or granulated) and made ready for re-use.
End-of-life tyres and tyre-derived products can be put to productive use in many ways, including:
Old tyres can also be incorporated into civil engineering projects as lightweight in-fill for embankments.