In Australia, 20 million tyres are disposed of every year. Most of them end up in landfills. Yet, they pose a serious threat to the environment due to pollution and fire risk. On the other hand, they become the perfect nest for mosquitos in countries such as Latin America and some African regions. These mosquitos transmit diseases such as Zika, malaria, yellow fever, and dengue.
These are just a few reasons why old tyres are harmful to the environment, but there are more.
How are old tyres harmful to the environment?
- Tyres are not biodegradable. They are made of rubber, which is composed of 70% petroleum; steel, textile fiber, and chemicals and mineral oils such as sulfur, zinc oxide, and carbon black. In addition, rubber follows a chemical process to make it more durable and resistant. As a result, the product becomes more difficult to degrade and recycle.
- They take up large spaces in landfills. Tyres are bulky and heavy, and they are produced in large volumes. According to the EU, the global output of new tyres is about 1.6 billion per year, and each year, about the same number of old ones is discarded.
- Tyres are difficult to extinguish in the event of a fire. As mentioned, rubber and possess a higher heating value (HHV). The heating value is the amount of heat released during the combustion taking into account certain parameters. Tyres take longer to consume and need more effort to extinguish in case of a fire.
- They accumulate harmful gases, leachate, and pests. The heavy metals and chemicals they contain leach into the environment as they slowly decompose in contact with other liquids in the landfill. The leachate contains harmful and carcinogenic substances and contaminates the soil, groundwaters, and farmland.
REVALUO, our non-burn waste to energy system can treat these tyres, recover the steel and the fiber, and produce high-quality fuel in the process, releasing minimal emissions (4gr/t) on the other hand, and generating hundreds of jobs.