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Ban on land filling tyres

The EU Landfill Directive banning the land filling of shredded used tyres comes into effect on Sunday.

This means all used tyres (with minor exceptions) will have to be diverted from landfill and recovered, re-used or recycled. This follows the earlier ban on the land filling of whole tyres in 2003.

John Dorken, spokesperson for the Tyre Industry Federation, says: “The tyre industry has been preparing for this ban for more than six years and has already achieved a 95% recovery rate of used tyres (based on preliminary data for 2005).

“Due to the efficient market structure already in place for the recovery of used tyres, the tyre industry does not believe that the ban will result in any significant problems in the recovery of used tyres as the UK’s collection and reprocessing system has the flexibility to deal with any fluctuations.”

Current uses and disposal routes for used tyres are:

  • shredded/granulated rubber - for use in a variety of applications such as equestrian, sports and safety surfaces and pathways, as well as carpet underlay
  • retread tyres - when the tyre is reconditioned by the addition of new material, extending the useful life of a worn tyre
  • re-used as part-worn tyres – where tyres with useful life remaining can be refitted to vehicles
  • landfill engineering – e.g. using shredded tyre aggregates as an alternative to virgin aggregates in leachate drainage blankets.
  • exported for reuse
  • a fuel (primarily in cement kilns)
  • miscellaneous uses – e.g. tyres as playground swings, silage clamps and dock fenders
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