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How to put old tyres to good use

20 June 2023

How to put old tyres to good use

Here’s how your old tyres can be turned back into something useful.

Some 56 million worn-out tyres are removed from Australia’s cars every year. The grim reality is many end up in landfill, dumped illegally, or even worse, stockpiled somewhere, risking a hazardous fire.

Lina Goodman, chief executive officer of Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA), says it’s devastating to see a valuable material go to waste. When recycled, old tyres contribute to the circular economy by being made into anything from roads, pavements, playgrounds, sporting fields and more.

“Tyres are not sexy by any stretch,” Ms Goodman says. “But, in a nerdy way, I’m really excited by their possibilities. It’s promising to see advanced manufacturing moving closer to truly circular solutions for tyres, taking rubber polymer and creating new valuable products that can be sold and reused again. In turn, creating new local markets and jobs, which is good for everyone.”One innovation is a permeable pavement developed by the University of Melbourne and Porous Lane which filters water rather than collect it on its surface, so it can supply water for the city’s parks and gardens, reducing the risk of flooding and pollutants entering waterways.

“It makes me proud to know that Australia is showcasing first-class, practical solutions for tyre-derived material. I’m hoping people will start choosing TSA Accredited tyre retailers in support of better outcomes for our used tyres,” Ms Goodman says. Until now, most car owners had no idea if their tyres were contributing towards the circular economy or ending up in illegal stockpiles or dumped by unscrupulous operators.

“Unfortunately, we see farmers have had tyres dumped on their land, which they have to bear the cost to remove. We see unsuspecting landlords of factories have their tenants fill them up with end-of-life tyres only to walk away and leave a huge clean-up bill. And that’s unfair, not only to landlords and farmers but also consumers who most likely paid a disposal fee to their retailer when they changed their tyres hoping that their tyres would be sustainably managed,” Ms Goodman says.

My Tyres My Choice

To solve this issue, TSA created ‘My Tyres My Choice‘ to help car owners make an informed choice that supports sustainable outcomes when they replace their used tyres.“By choosing an accredited retailer, you have confidence that they are engaging a legitimate recycler to take their tyres and process them into new products for use locally or globally,” Ms Goodman says. So far, TSA has committed more than $8 million to study and develop innovations to manage the used tyres generated in Australia.

“Consumers have the power to dictate what happens to their tyres,” MsGoodman says. “They can choose retailers that make an effort by offering a legitimate outcome for used tyres. They can also encourage local retailers, who are not accredited, to get on board and start working within an ecosystem of organisations that want to see used tyres go towards better outcomes.”

Beyond recycling, Ms Goodman says it’s crucial to keep the tyres on our cars as long as what is safely possible.
“And we can do that easily as consumers,” she says. “Let’s avoid them getting to their end of life prematurely. And the way consumers can do that is by speaking to their tyre retailer about a maintenance plan. This involves regularly checking the air on your tyres, rotating the tyres on your vehicle, and balancing your tyres. If everyone does those three things, they’re helping to extend the life of their tyres.”

Original article posted here

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