• Environmental Management Mar/April 2016

    Waste tyres are bulky and difficult to dispose of. Their nature does not allow for compression or folding in order to reduce the space occupied during disposal at landfills, and they also do not degrade easily. In addition, when whole waste tyres are disposed of, they trap air in their curvatures with the possibility of migrating to the top of the landfill, hence breaking the sanitary cap and creating further problems. Shredding of the waste tyres before disposal has been suggested and tried for size reduction before disposal.
    The high operational costs of this process made it an unattractive option. Subsequently, many landfills around the world have stopped accepting waste-tyres due to the problem of size, where the land becomes filled too quickly. This situation eventually leads to waste tyres becoming litters in the environment.
    It is estimated that 160 000 tons of scrap tyres are generated in South Africa each year: about 28 million used tyres are dumped illegally or burnt to recover the steel wire annually, which is sold as scrap metal. The discarding of waste tyres in the environment has become an almost insurmountable problem.* Thanks to companies who have decided to turn things around and treat tyres not as waste but rather as a resource, we are able to find answers that are viably sustainable both economically and environmentally. Remember these wise words? “Put your shoulder to the wheel.” (Aesop’s proverb called “The Tale of Hercules and the Waggoner”).
    Enjoy the read.

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