The success of the tyre recycling programme in the UK is thanks to the participation, partnerships and proactive involvement of the many organisations that make up the reprocessing and tyre industries.
A record turnout at the recent Tyre Recovery Association (TRA) forum heard this key message and where delegates listened to the how successfully the UK continues to meet the Landfill Directive of the EU banning tyre disposal in landfills. All this success was achieved via a market based approach.
The TRA was delighted by the number of people that attended reflecting on the commitment within the industry to responsible recycling in the UK of used tyres. However, said President of the Tyre Recovery Association, Mike Wilson, like the delegates heard we cannot just rest our the laurels of the past since there are a number of significant challenges in the coming years and we can only overcome them if the effort continues to be a united and concerted one.
Delegates heard how 479,000 tonnes of tyre material was reprocessed in the UK in 2009 and a presentation from the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers Association (ETRMA) states that only Germany recycled in 2009 more tyres by reprocessing more than 570,000 tonnes but they have a vehicle park over 30% larger than the UK.
This was the 7th annual TRA forum meeting and was chaired by Peter Taylor OBE, the TRA Secretary General. Besides the presentation from ETRMA the attendees also heard from a range of different organizations that are involved with the recycling of tyres and they included the Department of Business Innovation & Skills, the Environmental Agency of the UK, retreader Bandvulc and tyre retailer HiQ.
Several key themes became present during the different presentations. One was that retailer HiQ said retailers must improve upon the way they educate their customers about the importance of recycling and explained how their 150 outlets manage with all the push and pull issues like franchise standards and material about point of sale.
ETMRA spoke about the main trends regarding tyre recycling within Europe including the end of life tyre recovery evolution. They also spoke of high cost and scarcity of raw materials that translates to the industry needing to convert more waste tyres to useful resources.
The Environmental Agency spoke of their success in eliminating the major waste tyre operations that are illegal. They have conducted ten investigations into illegal waste tyre businesses in just over two years.